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Managing stress during pregnancy

Pregnancy can be a very stressful time, so it’s important to build the skills necessary to manage the stress in order to have the healthiest pregnancy possible. Check out these tips to help you better manage stress – chances are something will work for you!

  • Don’t overextend yourself: When you’re pregnant, sometimes it just seems like there aren’t enough hours in the day to do everything you need to. It’s important to really focus on your priorities, and make sure that your schedule isn’t too overwhelming. Don’t feel pressure to make plans or promises that you simply can’t handle.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help: What kind of person wouldn’t want to help a pregnant woman, you ask? A really, really bad one. Whether your partner, family, friends, or even a stranger at the market when lifting a heavy grocery bag, you’ll find that people are more than happy to help you out – don’t be shy!
  • Exercise: You’ve likely heard and read about the many, many benefits of exercising during pregnancy, but for the sake of re-reiteration, here’s one more – when you exercise, your brain produces endorphins, chemicals that serve to promote a feeling of happiness, and can do a great deal towards relieving stress.
  • Relaxation techniques: There are many highly effective relaxation and breathing techniques, learned at a birthing class or elsewhere, that can help keep your mind free and clear of stress all the way through pregnancy. Yoga is such a great pregnancy activity because it combines the physical benefits of exercise with the mental benefits of relaxation techniques, though it’s also a good idea to make sure your yoga teacher knows you’re pregnant, so they can let you know to adjust any poses that might not be a good idea.
  • Sex: The body releases copious amounts of the hormone oxytocin during sex, which is known to help reduce anxiety. Sex is perfectly safe during pregnancy, so if you’re feeling stressed, give it a shot!

Reviewed by Dr. Jamie Lo
Read more
  • S Kulkarni, I O’Farrell, M Erasi, MS Kochar. “Stress and hypertension.” Wisconsin Medical Journal. 97(11):34-8. Web. Dec-98.
  • Mayo Clinic Staff. “Stress management – Stress Basics.” Mayo Clinic. Mayo Clinic, 4/8/2014. Web.

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