Yes, it's easier said than done. With the numerous pains in your back, swollen feet, and feeling so very tired, people telling you that you “need to relax” doesn't just seem rude, but it seems downright insulting. But we do need to learn to relax, especially that there is such an impact on our baby if we go through the entire pregnancy feeling stressed. Bringing our baby into a stressful world and stressful situation is going to wire them for stress for life. This is why we need to get into the habit of calming down. Even if we feel an abundance of pains or anxiety, and everything seems against us, we need to work harder to relax. How do we do this?
Sleep Whenever You Can
It is one of those cliches that come out when the baby is born, that you “sleep when the baby sleeps.” And this can be quite a thing to get my head around especially if we are used to a specific sleep pattern. But when you're pregnant, and every little thing seems to keep you up at night, get into the habit of sleeping as and when you can but not even during the day, is crucial! This means that we need to prioritize sleep. Regardless of whatever is going on in our lives, we've got to find ways to get shut-eye, regardless of how little it is. But getting to sleep is difficult. There are products out there like 8 Sheep's Organic Sleepy Body Lotion this can help, but it's about finding the right approach for you. Getting to sleep is not easy, especially if you need to get comfortable. Getting a proper pillow can help, as well as making sure that you have adequate support. It's also about creating an environment for rest and relaxation. If you are someone that has to have Netflix on in the background, it might not help you get to sleep! Having a darkened room, by purchasing blackout blinds, can also help.
Getting As Much Information As Possible
Are you someone that needs to know everything about everything? If so, and you don't like the idea of surrendering control to this biological phenomenon, because pregnancy is such a stressful time for most of us, a lot of it stems from the unknown. We all have a fear of the unknown and once we get ourselves prepared for what will happen during pregnancy, as well as the birth, we can start to address these concerns. There are so many baby books out there, but it's also worth signing up for antenatal classes, as well as speaking to your health professional. And as unsettling as it can be, if we start to address the reasons why we feel like this, this is when we begin to come to terms with it. One of the biggest stresses is all about the birth. But now, with something like hypnobirthing, this can provide us with the tools to ensure a calm delivery. So many people talk about the act of giving birth absolute hell, but we have to remember it's something that we are equipped to do.
When you think about stress in a physiological sense, it's the body's way of reacting to a difficult situation. We are all aware of the fight-or-flight phenomena. When we are faced with a stressful situation, our body provides us with more adrenaline to cope. The big problem with this is that our bodies were built for running away from wild mammals. And the extra cortisol, the stress hormone, in our systems, is not useful. This means that we should find ways in which to calm down. One of the simplest ways is breathing. We all have an understanding of how breathing or meditation can help us calm down. But for a lot of people, asking them to think about nothing, and focusing on the breath is impossible. This is why calming down isn't just about a technique to use once; it's a practice you begin to implement in every aspect of your life. Much like learning something new, it's not about inputting information once; it's about finding various methods in which we can gain an appreciation for a subject. This means that in terms of calming down, it's about finding something that feels right. So many deep breathing methods can calm the nervous system down, but plenty of us think that it's not helpful because it's “just breathing.” Think about it in a logical sense; you’re flooding your body with oxygen which helps to push nutrients to every part of your body, and the more oxygen in your system, the more refreshed you feel.
Getting An Emotional Lift
We can feel like we're in this by ourselves, despite the support we have around us. After all, it's us, the baby, and no one else. And some people try to help by telling you how difficult birth is, others will not even address the subject. It's about finding the right balance so that you can feel emotionally prepared. You can learn all the information under the sun and get all the exercise under your belt, but if you don't feel happy, stress will envelop you. Sometimes the solution is simple. Ensuring that you can count on the right people in your life, by sharing your concerns, but remember, there are ways for you to get the support you need from other mothers to be. There are plenty of online groups, and yes, you can very easily go down the internet rabbit hole and tie yourself up in knots with worry. But if you can find groups recommended by other parents, this will help you to feel more supported.
But we have to remember if we can't relax for ourselves, at the very least, we need to rest for the sake of the baby. For the first time in your life, there is something more important than yourself. And learning how to relax and not worry so much helps bring our baby into a more relaxing world. Think about it from their perspective. They are going to be making that journey into the real world, which is incredibly stressful, the last thing they want to see is us panicking as well!
CANDY TAI is a wife to David and mom of 5 with a degree in Communications. She's a native Texan (Hook 'Em Horns!) who's been making her home in the Kansas City metro area for nearly 15 years. She loves being able to shuffle her kids from their various sports activities, piano lessons, and school activities. She enjoys fashion, beauty, reality TV, and moviegoing.