How Stress Impacts You and Your Baby

Breaking Down Stress: How Stress Impacts You and Your Baby

Having a baby can be a life-changing event. During pregnancy, a woman undergoes several physical and physiological changes that can cause stress.

While experiencing some stress during pregnancy is normal, too much of it can be bad for you and your baby.

Chronic stress can cause brain development issues in unborn babies, studies indicate. In fact, it may affect them as early as 17 weeks after conception.

Prenatal stress is also associated with an increased risk of preterm birth, smaller birth weight and length and enhanced risk of miscarriage. High levels of stress and anxiety can cause changes in the body. It can cause high blood pressure which enhances a mother-to-be’s chance of having preterm birth.

Therefore, it’s pivotal for you to manage stress effectively to ensure a smooth pregnancy and labor.

Steps to manage stress during pregnancy

If you are feeling stressed about becoming a mother, these tips will help you:

Stick to a healthy, well-balanced diet: A nutritious diet is necessary for your baby’s growth and development. It will also help regulate your stress hormones. Avoid sugary items and unhealthy fats. Do your best to eat a variety of healthy foods.

Get regular exercise: Exercise helps strengthen muscles and reduces back pain during pregnancy. Yoga, walking, pilates and swimming are great pregnancy workouts.

Get adequate sleep: Your body needs adequate energy to support your baby’s growth. Try to go to bed early. Make sure you’re getting enough hours of sleep to avoid fatigue and stress next day.

Seek support: The only way to deal with stress is through support. Talk to your birth companion, friends or a family member about your pregnancy. Talking about your fears will allow you to process your feelings properly.

If you can’t speak with someone you trust, you may consider getting help from a therapist.

Practice Hypnobirthing: Hypnobirthing is an effective birthing method that prepares mothers-to-be for pregnancy, labor and parenthood.

It entails the use of relaxation and breathing techniques in order to achieve quick, relaxed comfortable birth, without any drugs. You will be able to identify and reduce your childbirth-related stresses and anxieties by releasing endorphins or the ‘feel good hormones’ throughout your body. This leads to a relaxed and often pain-free birthing experience. But, make sure you practice Hypnobirthing visualisation techniques everyday to achieve successful outcomes.

For more information on Hypnobirthing, check out Hypnobirthing Hub. The home study course offers array of hypnobirthing techniques online, including deep breathing and calming for you to practice from the comfort of your home.

Meet Kathryn Clark
As a qualified Pregnancy and Birth Counsellor, Kathryn has helped countless women overcome their crippling fears surrounding pregnancy and birth 

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