While I was pregnant with my second child, my husband found a new job. We moved eight hours away to an unfamiliar, isolated place. My husband was gone four days a week for training related to his work. I was left with a growing baby in my tummy and an energetic toddler to take care of. Stress was part of my life.
Pregnancy is a stressful time. The physical and emotional strains are intense, and then you’re usually expected to continue on with life as normal.
I wasn’t always great at coping with stress. Everyone has their bad days. But here are some things that helped me find some inner peace.
Take care of yourself. Whenever I exercised in the morning, ate healthy, drank enough water, and got enough sleep, I usually felt great. The stress of pregnancy seemed most overwhelming when I was hungry, tired, and hadn’t taken care of myself. Yoga was particularly helpful for me — it gave me additional energy, helped me prepare for labor, and helped calm any troubled thoughts.
Your body is undergoing so many changes while you are pregnant that you need to take care of it, both for you and your growing baby.
Reach out to others. I called and talked to my mom and my sisters often, and they helped support me. I also reached out to neighbors and friends — when I did, I found that they were willing to offer support and help.
You aren’t alone. Sometimes you need to be the one to ask for help because others aren’t aware of what you need. Talk to your family, friends, neighbors or doctor — don’t be afraid to express your worries and concerns and seek guidance or assistance.
Pray. Reaching out to a higher power can be exactly what you need to help you handle the stress.
Prioritize. During my second pregnancy, I wanted to get any project I was involved in done before the baby came. It was too much. So I became more flexible. The ugly wallpaper could stay up.
You don’t have to conquer the world before the baby is born. Sometimes when the stress is becoming too hard to handle, it’s good to analyze everything on your plate and eliminate the things that aren’t essential.
Take some time for yourself. It’s good have some quiet time for pondering on occasion. I like to ask myself some questions: What do I really want? What do I really need? What am I afraid of? Understanding where my worries are coming from helps me overcome them.
It can also be a huge stress relief to indulge in whatever you love — go shopping, watch a television show, read a book or do whatever helps recharge you and makes you happy.
Be optimistic. I really wanted to go through childbirth as naturally as possible, but I became very stressed out about it — what if I couldn’t do it? What if labor was too painful? Whenever I had my doubts, I tried to reassure myself. I could do it, and if not, it really didn’t matter. Everything would turn out OK.
Increase the amount of positive thoughts in your mind. Try to turn negative thoughts into positive thoughts.
One of the best moments of my life was when I held my daughter for the first time. I was so overcome with joy that I completely forgot about all the stress of labor and pregnancy. It was all worth it.
Pregnancy is a great time to set a precedent to take care of yourself. Follow these tips to reduce stress and have a healthier, happier pregnancy.
Heather is a stay-at-home mom. She is originally from Utah but is now living in the desert of Nevada. See more at heathermoments.com