Emotional Wellness - How to Calm Anxiety While Pregnant 

Emotional Wellness - How to Calm Anxiety While Pregnant 

Emotional Wellness - How to Calm Anxiety While Pregnant 

As soon as you get to know that you will be welcoming a little munchkin into your life, your world starts changing. Immediately, you start planning and imagining your life with your little one. You start being on cloud nine, taking more care of yourself than ever as you embark on the new and blissful journey of motherhood. But suddenly, a feeling of worry slowly creeps in. You are beginning to lose sleep or you are finding it difficult to concentrate on certain things. Or do things irritate you easily? You start wondering what’s wrong and what’s making you feel so. Right? You always knew Pregnancy is one of the most beautiful phases of a woman’s life and is supposed to be a joyful time. But things are different with you. But, don’t worry. It’s absolutely normal and nothing is wrong. Your life is about to change in ways you can and cannot control and it’s normal to feel stressed and anxious. And, just like you are taking immense care of your physical health while being pregnant, you need to take care of your mental and emotional well-being too since your overall well-being will determine the health of your baby and yourself.  

Understanding the Anxiety Triggers   

Feeling anxious is a part of being a human being, and not just a part of being pregnant. Every person worries. And you, dear mommy-to-be, are not alone. Feeling anxious during pregnancy is very common particularly if you are a first-timer, or if you have had miscarriages earlier. Studies show that around 15% of women experience Pregnancy anxiety. So, relax and take a deep breath. Hormonal fluctuations during pregnancy, difficulties in falling asleep, prior miscarriages, pregnancy complications, and so on may add up to your feeling of anxiousness and worry. You may worry about your capability to be a good parent, your baby’s health, how you will properly balance work and the needs of the baby, expectations of your in-laws, your delivery experience, and the financial burden of a new family member, and the list can go on. And none of your worries are invalid. A certain level of anxiety is absolutely normal for humans; otherwise, what will prevent us from procrastinating and drive us to meet our deadlines? Haha! 

Effects of Anxiety and Stress on the Mother and the Baby  

While we keep saying that being anxious during Pregnancy is normal, we are putting equal emphasis on the importance of finding ways to cope with your prenatal stress and anxiety, because your baby gets affected by every stressor you experience. Cortisol is released into the body when you're stressed, and it can harm your baby's growth and long-term functioning. According to studies conducted in Obstetric Medicine, prenatal stress can raise the chances of:  

  • Poor immune system   
  • Attachment difficulties 
  • Allergies and asthma  
  • Difficult temperament 
  • Affective disorders  
  • Having an uncontrolled feeling of anxiety 
  • Worrying unnecessarily about things, particularly your health or the health of your child 
  • An inability to focus or concentrate  
  • Experiencing tense muscles 
  • Inability to sleep properly 

Stress and anxiety can have grave impacts on you and your baby, and thus you must pay considerable attention and care to your emotional and mental being. Let’s have a look at what stress can do to your body and your baby. 

1. The baby is subjected to poor nutrition due to your unhealthy diet 

Stress can have drastic impacts on your eating habits. Either you become more prone to skipping meals or you start binge-eating unhealthy food, particularly junk food. But, doing so while your little angel still rests inside your womb can prove to be harmful to your baby. A baby needs a balanced diet with the right proportions of proteins, vitamins, and minerals for the proper development of its brain and body. Thus, the beloved moms, please take out an ample amount of time to relax and beat the stress, and have a proper, balanced meal that will help you and your baby. 

2. Excessive Fatigue Leads to a Decline in your Physical and Mental Health 

Hectic schedules can easily wear your body out, making you feel lethargic throughout the day. Stress may lead to mood swings, muscle cramps, muscle tension, and high blood pressure. Search for ways that give you a mental boost. Go for a walk in the park beside your house, watch a good movie, listen to good music, talk with your friends, start journaling, meditate, and do anything that makes you happy. Consult your doctor regarding an exercise routine that is safe for the baby. Breathing in fresh air is also beneficial, particularly when it comes to calming the pregnancy stress and anxiety.

 3. Dehydration Has the Potential to Cause Birth Defects 

Dehydration is among the most adverse consequences of stress. And, dehydration may cause serious issues to both the mother and the child. Lethargy, digestion problems, and headaches are some of the outcomes of dehydration. Lack of water can also cause difficulties, such as insufficient amniotic fluid, neural tube defects, and birth malformations because water is required to build the placenta. To remind yourself to stay hydrated, carry a refillable water bottle with you wherever you go. If you're not used to drinking water regularly, add a squeeze of lemon or lime to increase the flavour.

4. Poor Sleep May Lead to Risk Factors 

With millions of thoughts troubling you, your sleep cycle gets disturbed horribly, bestowing you with detrimental effects. According to medical studies, lack of sleep can result in premature birth and postpartum depression. Sleep allows our body to relax, recharge and rejuvenate while maintaining the cortisol levels at the same time. Help your body and mind to calm down, before you sleep. Try meditating. Listen to good tunes. Your baby's body is constantly changing and progressing through several stages of brain development while in the womb. Your baby's cognitive development may be jeopardized if you don't get enough sleep. 

How Do You Deal With Anxiety?  

Pregnancy anxiety and stress can get seriously concerning, and you need to monitor your mental wellbeing. We have come up with a few tips to help you beat the anxiety, because dear moms, you deserve all the happiness in the world. Let’s see what you can do to fight the anxiety.  

1. When It’s Time to Seek Help 

Taking charge of your mental and emotional health is always a good idea. Please, consider seeking professional help if you have felt sad or worried, generally bad consistently, or feeling anxious or having panic attacks for more than two weeks. If your negative feelings are affecting your daily functioning, and you are beginning to lose interest in things, you must seek help because signs like this are alarming. 

2. Talk 

Not having someone to share your feelings with, often amplifies your negative feelings. Go, and have a talk with your loved ones, share your thoughts, and have a good laugh. You may also search for antenatal classes near you. Talking with other expecting moms may help you feel better and lighter. 

3. Meditate 

Meditation and other breathing techniques have proved to be extremely beneficial, specifically for pregnant moms to help them relax and calm down. “Every night, I meditated before heading to bed. It helped me immensely and improved my concentration levels magically. I was calmer as a person after I started meditating. I am glad that I embraced the act of meditation.”

4. Exercise 

Consult your doctor about the exercises which will be safe for you and your little one. You can try going for a walk, or activities like swimming, yoga, or even dancing. Exercising releases, a surge of endorphins that will help you to feel better and sleep well. 

5. Pamper Yourself 

A healthy baby resides in the body of a healthy mother. Engage in doing things that give you happiness. Go for dinner dates with your husband, visit the Goa beach, read the book you left unread years ago, or watch that movie you have always wanted to watch. Listen to good music. Studies have shown that music plays a significant role in the brain development of your baby. Listening to music while pregnant has a calming and uplifting effect on the mommy, as well as a positive impact on the unborn baby. Listen to gentle tunes like lullabies, melodies, and classical tunes that sound soothing to the ears of the baby. 

6. Eat Well 

Good food will boost your energy levels and give you the strength to go through the day. Stick to a balanced diet with appropriate amounts of protein, vitamins, and minerals to aid your baby’s wellbeing, and proper growth.  

7. Try to Connect With Your Baby 

Find ways to connect with the little life which is slowly taking shape inside you. Focus on your baby for a brief time every day, feel its movements and kicks, talk to it, or just think about the little munchkin that you are about to welcome. Practices like such are known to make mothers feel better about their pregnancy. 

8. Pursue Your Hobby

Get back to that special activity that gives you the utmost joy and inner peace. Doctors encourage stressed people to pursue their hobbies. A hobby not just helps you to pass your time but also has a positive impact on your physical and mental health. Play that guitar or sitar which you haven’t touched in years. Engage with colors and create beautiful portraits. Learn a new skill, maybe a new language. Do anything that makes you happy.  

9. Start Journaling

It’s never too late to start journaling. It helps you relive your fond memories, and contributes greatly to your mental and emotional wellbeing. 

10. Join a Mommy Network

Join a mommy network if there is any, in your area. Talking, sharing, and supporting other moms like you will make you feel better and happier, because who else understands a mom better than a mom? 

11. Keep Toxins (Chemicals and People)

Well, you can’t lead a happy life with toxins playing around you. There are certain chemicals that pregnant moms are at risk of coming in contact with. Try to avoid chemicals like paint and lead-based products, insecticides and pesticides, mosquito repellents, and even nail polishes. Dear moms, you are strong. All mothers are strong. And thus, you must protect yourself from toxic behavior. Try to avoid toxic people who make you feel bad because you don’t deserve to feel bad. 

Conclusion

Starting from the food you eat, to the sounds you hear, your baby is exposed to everything you go through while you are pregnant. And, the emotions you feel are not an exception. Your emotions have a pretty significant impact on the baby which is resting peacefully inside your womb. It is easier for your baby to grow up in a joyful, and relaxed environment inside your womb if you feel good. Stress and anxiety, on the other hand, can raise certain hormones in your body, which can harm affect the proper development of your baby’s body and brain. Hence, it is extremely important that you feel good, because, as we aforementioned, a healthy baby resides in the womb of a happy mother.  


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About Me

Hi, I am Ekta Dharap, a mom of a tiny tod. I have learnt that to take optimum care of your little one, it's imperative to first take care of your own wellness and well-being. Besides, our children look up to us, and how we treat ourselves. This makes putting self care as top priority, without an ounce of guilt.

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