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Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Dealing with Stress during Pregnancy

Stress remains inevitable in our daily lives and being pregnant does cause a certain level of physical and mental stress for every woman. During pregnancy the body undergoes a lot of changes as the foetus develops inside the womb of the woman. The woman, during pregnancy, therefore, faces high stress levels while monitoring the health of the baby and her own body. This can cause damage to the development of the child in the long run.

Experts and research scientists have studied and claimed that pregnancy can lead to a miscarriage in extreme cases, if the woman is suffering from stress during pregnancy. There has been an increase in cases of preterm labour because of this reason leaving the mother with an underdeveloped foetus.

Reasons that Cause Stress during Pregnancy

Socio-economic causes. This includes reasons such as women getting pregnant under pressure, women facing unplanned pregnancy and financial crunch.
Health hazards such as consumption of alcohol, smoking and excessive intake of nicotine or caffeine.
Work-related stress.
Lack of exercise, fitness and proper diet. Most pregnant women face stress due to irregular supply of food to the foetus or an inactive body.

Dealing with stress during pregnancy under such circumstances, therefore, becomes mandatory. Pregnant women must remember that stress cannot be avoided but it can be minimised to a great extent if the following precautionary measures are taken:

Whenever you think that your mind is about to explode; relax. The key is to not allow the mind to control you. Initially, it might take some time to make this a habit. Also, some women might take relaxing to a very physical level. This is not the right way to relax! For example, if you are worried about an immediate concern, try and engage yourself in some creative activity such as knitting, cooking, listening to music or just dialling up your friends. This should be practiced for the healthy development of your child.
Never stay alone. Pregnant women living alone face maximum stress levels.
Visit your healthcare practitioner and find out a suitable relaxing exercise for your body and mind. The most common exercise practiced by pregnant women is meditation or some stretching exercises prescribed by their doctors. These largely help in loosening up the tensed muscles in the body and help you relax! While exercising, make sure you concentrate on relaxing each part of your body slowly. The trick is to move each muscle of the body at least once.
Never wear tight clothes and sit uncomfortably. Posture should be given due importance as sitting in wrong postures for extended periods of time can lead to physical stress.

Another way to avoid stress when you are alone or simply bored of things around you is to talk out loud and record whatever you have in mind. This is widely recommended by doctors as it helps in easing out the stress levels in the woman’s body through talk-therapy.

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