Stress During Pregnancy: How to Cope

A child entering the world, whether it’s your first or third, is a huge occasion that will impact upon every area of your life, so it’s no wonder you feel a little stressed at times. You’re probably tired out from growing a whole new person, you’ve got a to do list the size of your arm, and you’ve got lots of loose ends to tie up at work before you start maternity leave. Stress during pregnancy is pretty much inevitable and all women will experience it at some point.

Here are some tips to help you cope with stress during pregnancy:

  1. Relax – easier said than done when you’re feeling stressed, but it is really important to relax. Leave your work worries, birth fears and to do list outside, and take some time to sit down and breathe for a while. Having a nice bubble bath (not too hot!) is a great way to unwind at the end of a busy day, and it will do wonders for those pregnancy aches and pains you’re no doubt suffering from.
  2. Talk – if you’re feeling apprehensive about the birth, speak to your healthcare provider. If you are worried about the affect a new baby will have on your relationship, speak to your partner. You will need a support system in place for after the baby comes, so why not put them through their paces now by listening to your pregnancy woes?
  3. Delegate – you have enough on your plate without also worrying about which type of baby bath to purchase. You’ve probably got two sets of soon to be Grandparents desperate to help out with any kind of baby related duty, so why not delegate a few of the less important jobs? That way you get to tick a few chores off your to do list, and Granny has been given something useful to do (so she can stop commenting on how much weight you’ve gained).
  4. Rest – you might be struggling to sleep during pregnancy due to the huge bump getting in the way, but rest is a really important tool for fighting stress. Try using extra pillows in bed to provide comfort, and have naps during the day if this helps.
  5. Planning – good planning is important for keeping stress at bay. If you’re feeling worried about money, try drawing up a budget for once the baby arrives. If you are losing sleep because you have too much to do, try to break down your to do list into manageable jobs and do a little bit each day. There’s no point overdoing it and putting yourself out of action because you’re exhausted.
  6. Birth – some women cannot help but worry about the birth itself. Remember, women have been giving birth for thousands of years, and it is a natural process. Your healthcare provider will be on hand to help you during labour, and provide any medical support necessary. Try not to worry too much about the birth, and instead focus on meeting your baby for the first time.

If stress is causing you to lose sleep, or if you have lost your appetite or are more irritable than usual, and none of the above tips have helped, you should ask your healthcare provider for advice on stress management.

This information is not intended to replace the advice of a trained medical doctor. Health & Parenting Ltd disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information, which is provided to you on a general information basis only and not as a substitute for personalized medical advice. All contents copyright © Health & Parenting Ltd 2018. All rights reserved.

Pregnancy Symptoms NOT to Ignore

You’re pregnant. Naturally this means you are going to feel all sorts of new aches and pains. In fact, you might wake up with a new pregnancy symptom every day of the week. Most of these are normal. Still, there are some pregnancy symptoms NOT to ignore. Remember, it is always better to err on the side of caution rather than wait something out when you are pregnant.

The following are pregnancy symptoms that require you to get in touch with your help practitioner. (Please note: some of these can be a normal and natural part of your pregnancy, so don’t be immediately alarmed if you have any of these.)

1. Less fetal movement. If you notice a significant decrease in fetal movement, or no movement at all for an extended period of time, you should call your doctor. Try laying down on your left side after drinking something sweet, like orange juice, to see if you conjure up movements. In late pregnancy, a change in the types of movements is natural as space is limited. But your baby should still move regularly. If you cannot get your baby to move – then call your doctor immediately.

2. Extreme abdominal pain. Pulled or strained muscles are par for the course of pregnancy. Cramps are fairly common too, and can be Braxton-Hicks contractions. If, however, you are experiencing deep and strong or sharp pains, you should call your doctor. The best rule of thumb is know your body, and know whether this is a normal, routine pain – or something more. If you think it’s something more, then a check-up won’t hurt.

3. Vaginal Bleeding or Spotting. Some women spot and bleed their whole pregnancy without a problem. However, if you notice sudden spotting or heavy bleeding (accompanied by discharge) that starts out of nowhere and is accompanied with cramping – check yourself into an emergency department, or call your healthcare provider for an appointment that day. Remember, better safe than sorry.

4. Extreme swelling of the face or extremities. Obviously, some swelling is normal. If you notice a sudden increase in weight gain and swelling, you may have preeclampsia, which can be life threatening to you. Call your doctor.

5. High fevers, chills, and severe headaches accompanied by blurred vision. This could be something as normal as the common cold or flu, or something more. Its always best to have your provider treat you for illness during pregnancy.

6. A swollen leg, or pain in one leg that doesn’t go away. Blood clots during pregnancy are often caused by hormones, and one of the first signs is leg swelling or severe pain in the legs.

7. Exposure to influenza. H1N1 flu exposure has been proven to be risky to pregnant woman. If you have been exposed, it is important to let your doctor know. Also exposure to chicken pox, rubella, and Fifths disease should be reported to your doctor.

8. Itchiness all over your body. Occasional itchiness as skin stretches is normal, but sudden unexplained itchiness may signal a problem.

9. Shortness of breath or difficult breathing, whether in pregnancy or not – should prompt a trip to the emergency department of the nearest hospital. If this is combined with chest pains, fainting spells, or high fever, you need to be seen ASAP.

The reality is that pregnancy can make you feel all sorts of things. If you listen to your intuition and let it guide you to knowing that something may be wrong, you will be better off in the long run. You should never feel like you worry too much, or that a doctor or ER is going to think you are crazy simply because you are concerned about something going on with your body. Even though the chances are high that you will find out everything is fine, it is always better to know for sure so you can relax. You owe yourself peace of mind.

Written By Stef, Mom of 4 @Momspirational

This information is not intended to replace the advice of a trained medical doctor. Health & Parenting Ltd disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information, which is provided to you on a general information basis only and not as a substitute for personalized medical advice. All contents copyright © Health & Parenting Ltd 2017. All rights reserved.