Best Way to Reduce Stress before Pregnancy

We have such high expectations for ourselves and for others. We have too little time. Our lives are spent rushing from one commitment to another. And that’s just the stress we put on ourselves. Add to that family problems, economic uncertainty, and world events, and stress becomes a heavy burden to try to accommodate.

From a multitude of studies, stress has been linked to illnesses such as high blood pressure, heart attacks, stroke, insomnia, rashes, and muscle pain. Stress can also cause mental illness, such as anxiety attacks, phobias, and depression. Any of these conditions can affect you during your pregnancy. For an easier, more enjoyable pregnancy, the goal should be to alleviate as much stress as possible before the pregnancy begins. How is this possible?

Reduce Pregnancy Stress Best Way to Reduce Stress before Pregnancy

First, try to evaluate how much stress you’re under before you get pregnant. You may be completely unaware of the stress in your daily life because you’ve been handling it for so long. Second, separate out the stress you have control over—such as making too many commit­ments, or time management—from the stress you have no control over, such as world events or an unexpected illness or loss. Third, see if you can reduce those stress causers that are in your control, and seek help for those stresses out of your control. Learning to manage your stress before you’re pregnant will help manage the natural stress that comes with pregnancy and parenthood.

Stress Busters

Here are some suggestions for reducing the stress:

  •  Exercise, such as walking, is beneficial.
  •  Increase your amount of rest. Take naps on weekends and go to bed early after a very busy day. Try to get a minimum of eight hours of uninterrupted sleep a night. Some researchers feel Americans, more than people in other countries, suffer from sleep deprivation. Lack of sleep decreases your productivity and, if left unmanaged, can compromise your health.
  •  Target what’s causing your stress. It may stem from a number of things, such as an unsatisfactory career, lack of money, debts, and/or family strife, like a parent’s illness or a sibling’s depend­ency. Or it may stem from a partner’s previous relationships, an ex-wife, and children. Sometimes just identifying the cause can help reduce the stress.
  •  Learn to meditate. Explore how busy your mind is and prac­tice turning off the noise caused by a busy world. Get books and articles on other self-help measures that may reduce your stress.
  •  Journal writing seems to be therapeutic for some people. Putting your thoughts down on paper may decrease your stress and anxiety.
Reduce Pregnancy Stress 1 Best Way to Reduce Stress before Pregnancy
  •  Do some planning. Stress may be caused by “fear of the unknown.” For instance, you may have concerns about how preg­nancy and having a baby will impact your finances. It’s not too early to start thinking about issues such as working after the baby is born, whether you have the choice of a full- or part-time schedule.

Reducing stress before you begin your pregnancy will make a world of difference in how you feel during this marvelous adventure. Indeed, it may help you have a marvelous adventure. Imagine sailing easily and joyfully through pregnancy and birth rather than creeping along uncertain, beset by worries. Take the steps you need to make your preg­nancy as stress-free as possible.

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