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Stress and Pregnancy

Pregnancy is a wonderful time, but it’s also a time of physical and emotional stress. Dealing with stress during pregnancy is not always as simple as taking a brisk walk or pampering yourself while getting your nails done. There are a lot of emotions involved, and in some pregnancies, you’re also faced with restrictions. That glass of wine or the secret smoke you might have used before to relax is now forbidden, which might very well make you more stressed than you would be otherwise.

Stress during Pregnancy
Sure to cause more stress in moms, a study revealed recently that maternal stress during pregnancy can impact the future health of their babies.

Granted the study was really discussing the severe stress of daily existence related to serious poverty or illness, but no mother wants her baby to feel stressed when everything should be wonderful and peaceful for both mother and child. While you might have a goal of remaining stress free, it is far more realistic to work at reducing stress immediately when it does arise to help curb the natural ebb and flow of chaos in our lives.

Preventing Stress
Your first step would be to prevent stress as much as possible. Some moms do this by reading and watching as much as they can about babies and pregnancy. They want to know every possible thing that happens both good and bad. These moms stress when they don’t have enough information, and there is plenty of information out there. Read up and watch specials on television. Ask your doctor questions and learn everything you can to help you feel more at ease.

Many other moms, however, feel the opposite is true. They want the doctor and perhaps one book to tell them everything is fine. These moms have no interest in knowing anything outside of their healthy pregnancy and any shows or books to the effect can cause them additional worry and stress. If you recognize yourself in this situation, simply stop watching or reading material that makes you uncomfortable. Call your doctor with questions and stay out of hotbeds for controversy or misinformation. Bask in knowing what you need to know and ignoring anything that doesn’t apply to you.

Handling Stress
Among the many options available for relieving stress, some favorites must be crossed off the list for pregnant women. No amount of alcohol has been shown to be safe for pregnant women, so that glass of wine is simply not an option. Smoking blocks the flow of oxygen to your baby essentially cutting off some of her air supply, so that is not a safe choice either.

Other options come with a bit of caution. Taking a walk or a swim is a great choice for most moms, but if your doctor has discouraged exercise, don’t push it. Sweet treats that help up relax such as ice cream or cake might add a few too many calories if you’re watching them closely. If you do indulge, be sure you get your recommended amount of calories that day from healthy food choices – don’t shortchange your baby of vitamins for a pint of ice cream on the couch.

Your best options for handling stress are things that are healthy for both you and your baby. Talk to your spouse or partner about your feelings. Watch a great movie and cry at the ending to let those feelings out. Read a funny book and laugh out loud. Call a girlfriend or your mother to talk about the issues bothering you. Spend time doing a hobby you love such as knitting or art until you feel more like yourself again. Find ways to focus on the growing life inside of you and find that inner peace again. .

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