Pregnancy here and now brings: information overload, fear mongering, and social media drama. Often, people feel obligated to warn you about.....well, everything and anything on the ever-growing list of pregnancy dangers.
But, their efforts often ADD to prenatal stress! Ongoing stress becomes a problem in pregnancy as it boosts the cortisol levels your growing baby gets. But, there are so many things you can do to help your body relax.
*Breathing is the fastest, most accessible way to relax your body.
Consciously slowing the breath and especially doing 4 square breathing can immediately override your physiological response. (Breathe to a count of 4 seconds, hold for 4 seconds, exhale for 4 seconds, hold for 4 seconds. Another option: make the exhalation longer than the inhalation.)
*Exercise is amazing--and offers endorphins, too!
It doesn't have to be elaborate! Go for a 15 minute walk outside. Find a Prenatal Yoga video on youtube. Dance around. Just MOVE your body.
*Build your Support Network
You were never meant to do this all alone. Connect with people who will listen and support you every step of the way. Expand your net by meeting other expecting moms at your midwife's office, a prenatal exercise class, your childbirth preparation class, La Leche League, or on Social Media.
Check out Monmouth County Resources here.
*Things that RELAX you and bring you JOY!
I loved salt baths and belly dancing in my pregnancy. I also journaled a lot. And tea--all the time! What little and big things can you work into your day or week?
Prenatal Massage, Floatation Therapy, Eating out......
I wish I had discovered this type of meditation when I was pregnant! It is 4 times more restorative than sleep! (So doing a 20 minute meditation is the equivalent of 80 minute nap!)
No previous experience necessary--literally, just listen to the audio.
www.daringtorest.com is my favorite.
The sooner you learn to insulate yourself from stress, the better off you will be in your pregnancy and parenthood journey! If you're feeling overwhelmed and need some help figuring out a plan, contact me. I'm happy to help you connect with resources to empower you and ease your stress.
Postpartum Doula, Breastfeeding Counselor, Mother of Three.