Pregnancy can bring about a lot of changes, whether that is physical, emotional, or mental. Stress is very common in pregnancy; this could be because of the changes to your body and hormones, shifts in family dynamics, or anxiousness about the baby or what’s next. Constant or high levels of stress can bring about health concerns for mom and baby which could lead to high blood pressure, and complications for you and the baby. According to the National Library of Medicine, “Stress during pregnancy can indirectly affect infant health and development by increasing the risk of the occurrence of adverse birth outcomes which are, in turn, associated with substantial developmental and health consequences.”
Now that we know what stress can bring, how do we manage it? Now we can give you a list of exercises and activities you may be able to do to help with stress, but instead, we wanted to highlight four of our favorite ways to de-stress that are simple, relaxing, and something that does not cost a fortune to do.
Walking: This may seem too simple, but walking can not only relieve stress but also it can keep you active, which is a big to do during pregnancy, but research has also been shown that walking could lead to spontaneous onset labor which could mean things like induction, C-sections, etc. are more unlikely to occur.
Prenatal Yoga or Movement: Movement can have a huge impact on your pregnancy journey. Not only do you receive the same benefits as highlighted in walking, but this will also help to release endorphins in the body, which could increase mood, mental health, and even the baby’s health. There are a whole bunch of yoga classes online that you can join. Whether you want live classes where an instructor can guide you, virtually, or even recorded and free classes that are on platforms like YouTube, Instagram, and more.
Social Connection: Don’t be afraid to reach out or rally your village around you when needed. Social connection can not only lower stress, but it also feels good to be surrounded by friends and or family who can take your mind off the worries that you are feeling.
Pick an activity or DIY project: When it comes to activities, home improvement, or DIY projects, most people would say that it is a time where they are truly at peace. There are a lot of projects online that are inexpensive and great ways for you to be creative. Some things you can do to de-stress and relax your mind are first learning to crochet or sew; this is not only something you can do to take your mind away from the stressors of life, but you can also create clothes, blankets and more while you wait for your baby’s arrival. Build a project you’ve always wanted; an example is a Yoni steam seat that you’ve had your eye on for a while, surprisingly it could be very simple. The point is to find something or do something you’ve always wanted and use that as a way to decompress. Soon enough you’ll be surrounded by projects.