I am on my 35th week of pregnancy and I couldn’t help but be very overwhelmed with the current pandemic that is happening all over the world. I flew back to my hometown with my 3 year old daughter last month to deliver this second baby near my parents. My husband was supposed to fly in to be with us nearing my estimated due date which is in a month’s time. With the rate of how things are going at the current moment, it is now uncertain if it safe for him to travel even within the country. With these pregnancy hormones all over the place, it is so easy for us to get stressed and feeling so lost, uncertain and alone at the most uncertain time the world is facing.
Feeling stress and anxiety for the past month has caused much discomfort for me. It may differ depending on each individual. It might be different for you. At times my tummy would feel so tight and the lower pelvis area would be tinging hurt. Other days, the neck and shoulder feel very strained.
Being in the third semester, having shortness of breath is quite common. Add the stress to it, you will find as if you are working extra harder to get air into your lungs. Don’t mention the sleep; with so much in mind, it is nearly impossible to get things off your mind if you don’t try to control it.
Find these tips that can help you to manage your stress during your pregnancy. You may be surprised to find how simple it can be and hopefully can help you as much as it did help me during this stressful time.
Breathe in, Breathe out.
Yes, deep breathing can calm you. Try it in your most comfortable position. Tell your self to take a few minutes to breathe, focus and relax. Breathe, Focus and Relax. Pick a position, be it sitting or lying down. Slowly breathe through your nose. Take a deep breath, inhale as deep as you can, feel your chest and tummy rise as air fill in your lungs. Once you feel that you cant breathe in any longer, try holding it for a couple of seconds before exhaling out through your nose.
Repeat this deep breathing technique for as long as you need until you are feeling calmer and relaxed. I would usually do this for at least 10 times and it would take about 5 to 7 minutes.
Focus on the baby.
This is the most important part of your pregnancy journey. This is my second pregnancy and with a very active and ever-demanding toddler to attend to every hour of the way, I tend to forget that I am pregnant. I would also forget how heavy I am and therefore make me forget to hold my posture right. On few occasion I would lose my balance and almost trip over the wrong steps I have made. Talk about another pregnancy trait that I obtained; clumsiness. Stress levels during pregnancy can cause premature birth and having your baby born underweight. Most of the time I have to remind myself to take it slow and simply focus on the baby. I would put a pause on everything that I do and just focus on my baby bump. Give your baby bump a rub. Sing and talk to your baby. Around 18 weeks of your pregnancy or so, your little one hears their first sound. Their hearing improves as the weeks’ pass.
Listening to play music.
Listening to calming music always works for me. Whenever I feel that tinging hurt starts below my tummy, I would quickly turn on my Spotify and let that calming playlist play in my background for a good half an hour. I would try to do the deep breathing technique along with focusing on the baby and just simply listen to the calming musical playlist. Put away the guilt feeling for allowing yourself to not do anything during that time. Studies do show that listening to music for at least half an hour a day for two weeks significantly reduced stress. Go on, put on your favorite playlist and enjoy the music.
Spend time with your love ones or your to go person.
Put aside your worries. Allow yourself to spend and enjoy the time with your family or to-go-person. Put aside your gadgets and just be present with your love ones. I would tickle that little tummy of my little one to just hear the giggles coming out of her. Thoughts of rainbows and unicorns would come in mind by just hearing her laughs. The stress over my shoulders would be lifted and I would forget my worries when I am locked at that moment with my daughter. Have a talk with someone, share your thoughts and express your feeling. Don’t be afraid to share how you truly feel. You will be surprised to keep with how much support you can get.
Walking and Keep busy.
Keep yourself busy to get those stressful things off your head. I do a little homeschooling with my toddler for about 2 hours a day. For those 2 hours, I would just try to focus on her and nothing else. It is like our little time together, just me and her and time with her does keep me busy. Do some activities with your little one. Play some board games with your family. Bake a cake or do some crafts. I love walking too. Walking is a great and safe exercise during your pregnancy. Exercise or walk regularly for about half-hour a day. Not only you could enjoy the time at the park or simply at your back yard, at the time when you walk, but it could also help to relieve stress. I would always feel a bit relaxed after enjoying those much needed outdoor views. Bear in mind to not try a new and strenuous activity.
Try getting a good night’s sleep.
Try to have a good night sleep. If the day has become too overwhelming, I would try to have an early night. I would make the bedtime routine for my little one an hour or two earlier. We would just take the rest of the evening easy. Having an early sleep helps. It helps with your mental health and also supports a healthy pregnancy. Aim for at least 8 hours of sleep. Those early nights I decided to take always make me wake up the next day feeling better and relaxed.
There you have my top tips on helping you to manage your stress during your pregnancy. These are some really easy tips that you can do immediately without needing anything at all. It has helped me as much to manage my stress during these difficult times and I hope it can help you too. Listen to your body and stay safe!
I would love to hear about other methods on how you are managing your stress. Feel free to comment below.