You are, no doubt, happy and excited at the thought of becoming a mother. That said pregnancy, birth and the responsibility of bringing a child into the world is often accompanied by a lot of stress.
Stress is absolutely normal in pregnancy, especially if you’re having your first child. You are entering a new stage in your life, and fear of the unknown is only natural.
It’s normal to have moments when you’re wondering if everything will go well, if the baby will develop normally, how bad the pain will be during the birth, if you’ll know how to be a good parent or if you’ll have enough money to live off. The examples of things to worry about are seemingly endless.
When can stress affect the pregnancy?
As long as your stress levels are manageable then everything will be fine. But if you suffer from intense stress or anxiety and panic attacks, there could be a risk of premature birth, or that the foetus’ internal organs and nervous system don’t develop properly.
In other words, if you feel highly stressed most of the time, then you should seek the help of a psychotherapist.
Do you have high levels of anxiety?
Symptoms of extreme anxiety are easy to recognise:
- You can’t control your fears;
- You can’t concentrate;
- You’re irritable;
- You sweat excessively;
- You don’t sleep well and you’re always tired;
- Your muscles are tense most of the time.
Often anxiety is accompanied by panic attacks where you will have an overwhelming sensation of fear, heart palpitations, shaking and even choking.
How can you reduce stress during pregnancy?
- If you have medical concerns, don’t look online – you have a doctor for a reason. Discuss any of your worries or concerns with them first. They can give you the best solutions, because they know your medical history. Information found online may not apply to your situation and may only make you feel more anxious;
- Avoid stressful situations as much as possible;
- Stop stressing over insignificant things. Having a healthy pregnancy is your priority at the moment;
- Talk about your fears with your partner or close family and friends. Often, things may seem more serious to you than they really are, and an objective perspective might help you to see them differently;
- Don’t do things you don’t feel comfortable doing. Learn to say “no” without feeling guilty;
- Don’t take on too much at work and get help with the household chores.;
- Exercise, eat healthily and get enough rest.