How to Cope with Stress During Pregnancy

In our recent blogs, we’ve talked about how to prepare for childbirth, what physical changes to expect during pregnancy, and nutrition tips for pregnant women. This time, we’ll help you have a stress-free pregnancy because we understand that carrying a baby feels like an emotional rollercoaster. A little bit of stress is normal, but if you’ve been stressing out too much, just keep reading!

Why Stress Is Unhealthy for Your Baby

Research on the link between pregnancy stress and baby’s health is still early, but several studies suggest that high stress levels might harm the fetus. Chronic stress, for example, may lead to hormonal changes and behavioral issues in childhood. While scientists don’t fully understand how this can happen, every woman should pursue a low-stress pregnancy.

Overall, stress has a negative impact on the body’s immune system. It’s definitely bad for your health, whether you’re carrying a baby or not. Headache, muscle tension, sleep problems, and anxiety are some of the symptoms of stress.

During pregnancy, stress is common and even expected, but you should worry if it gets a little bit out of hand. According to one study, high stress levels means higher risk for preterm delivery, which is one of the most concerning pregnancy complications in the United States.

Studies have also established a link between stress and low birth weight babies. Small babies require extra care because they may have difficulty eating, regulating blood sugar, and staying warm.

Another study links stress during pregnancy to postpartum depression. The symptoms include anger, feelings of disconnection from the baby, and uncertainty about the ability to take care of a child. In the long run, the effects of postpartum depression might be devastating for families, leading to parent-child bonding issues and lack of trust.

 

Causes of Stress During Pregnancy

It’s a misconception to think that all pregnant women have the same experience. Carrying a baby is a unique experience, and every woman is different. More often than not, stress is caused by multiple factors—some of them might be easy to pinpoint while others may be more difficult to identify. These are the most common causes of stress during pregnancy:

Body Changes

Lack of energy is common during pregnancy. Your body has to adapt to all the new physical changes and, because of that, you experience a wide range of symptoms: morning sickness, skin darkening, stretch marks, leg cramps, weight gain, and shortness of breath. With so many body changes happening at once, it’s OK to feel overwhelmed sometimes, but remember that it’s all temporary. Many moms recover from these signs and symptoms soon after the birth of their child.

Lack of Sleep

In addition to weight gain, your body goes through hormonal changes when you’re pregnant. As a result, you might constantly feel tired and need more time to rest and sleep. The problem is that sleeping becomes less comfortable as your belly grows, which increases your irritability and stress levels. Most pregnant women find it easier to sleep on their side. Also, consider purchasing a pregnancy pillow to help you reduce discomfort along these nine months.

Anxiety

If you’re feeling anxious about birth and parenting, you’re not the only one. Many women are consumed by thoughts like “Will I be a good mother?” The truth is that there is no secret formula to raise your children, you’ll make mistakes, and you’ll feel guilty. Remember that you’re not perfect. What you can do is to prepare yourself by learning as much as you can about childcare and parenting. If you’re reading this blog, you’re on the right track.

Sibling Rivalry

New baby coming soon? Your older children might not be as excited as you. Put simply, sibling rivalry is the jealousy, competition, and animosity among siblings. Some pediatricians might even call it inevitable, but it is manageable at the very least. Keep in mind that what looks like a fight to you might actually be a competition for attention. Stay calm, do your best to create a cooperative environment, and understand that your kids are different individuals. Always reassure them that they’re all equally loved.

Financial Concerns

You want to provide your baby with anything he or she needs to be healthy and happy. From a crib to college, there are many things you have to budget for: clothes, toys, birthday parties, childcare, books, and family trips. Having a baby is very expensive and, if you’re not very good at financial planning, chances are you’ll get stressed out frequently. Start saving if you haven’t already and plan a way how to cover your child’s expenses.

Coping with Stress During Pregnancy

Now that you understand why stress is dangerous for your baby’s health and the common causes of stress, it’s time to chill. Below you’ll find some tips to cope with stress during pregnancy.

General Tips

  • Find out what makes you feel stressed and talk to your partner or a friend about it.
  • Eat healthy and make sure you’re getting enough of the nutrients your body needs.
  • Allow yourself plenty of time to sleep and leave more room for naps in your day.
  • Seek professional help from a therapist if you’re struggling to cope with stress.
  • Join a pregnancy support group to keep in touch with other pregnant women.

Yoga

Many expectant mothers find prenatal yoga very beneficial for them and their babies. Yoga helps your mind and body reconnect in a moment when your body is changing fast, and you barely recognize yourself. Even if you are a complete beginner, the movements can make you feel relaxed and strengthen your legs and spine. The deep breathing techniques you’ll learn are a powerful way to calm your nervous system and relieve tension.

At Simple Surrogacy, our friendly team strives to provide surrogate mothers and intended parents with all the information they need. Our staff is 95% composed of experienced women and our co-founder, Stephanie Scott, is a three-time previous surrogate. Whether you want to build a family or help someone to achieve one, we’re at your disposal! Contact us through our website or give us a call at (214) 673-9321.

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