How To Have A Stress-Free Pregnancy
It’s easy to say that pregnancy is a wonderful experience whether it’s your first or fourth. And for many it is an incredible and often easy experience each and every time.
However, and very unfortunately, not every pregnancy runs smoothly throughout its 37 or 40 weeks. Some women have medical difficulties throughout their pregnancies, from high blood pressure or diabetes to preeclampsia. However, and thankfully, according to USFHealth.org high-risk complications occur in only 6 to 8 percent of all pregnancies.
Photo by Bethany Beck
But difficulties don’t just arise medically, health problems are also a very important factor to consider throughout pregnancy and after birth. According to the HSE in Ireland as many as one in five women have mental health problems in pregnancy or after birth. And the most common mental health issues include depression and anxiety, and can happen to anyone.
So it’s extremely important to take care when it comes to your pregnancy, medically and mentally. Being pregnant should be a wonderful experience that doesn’t involve a lot of stress or worry, although we do know it is easier said than done.
With that being said, however, here are five top tips on how to have a stress-free pregnancy.
Five Top Tips – How To Have A Stress-Free Pregnancy
1 – Keep the Body Moving
In order to help keep the body in good shape and ready for the birth of your baby, try to keep the body moving. That could be getting up for a walk around the house or going for a walk outside to get some fresh air.
Photo by Jonathan Borba
Keeping the body moving is going to help ensure blood is pumping around the body and that you’re stretching the limbs. For some, they might want to exercise throughout their pregnancy, doing various classes to keep fit and active. However, it’s important to make sure that whatever workouts you’re doing, they’ve been approved by your doctor or midwife.
2 – Eat the Right Foods
Eating the right foods is important to stay healthy, both for you and your baby. There are some foods that your midwife or doctor will recommend you don’t eat and others that will be ideal for keeping healthy, nourished and energised.
Foods & Drinks to Avoid when Pregnant:
- Any alcohol.
- Unpasteurised food products such as dairy and cheeses.
- Cream cheeses such as brie and Camembert.
- Blue cheeses such as Danish blue, Gorgonzola and Roquefort.
- Raw eggs or products made from raw or undercooked eggs.
- Raw, undercooked or cured meats such as salami or chorizo.
- Liver products such as pâté or sausages.
- Raw fish such as sushi.
The right diet is important when you’re pregnant because everything you eat, the baby is getting nutrients from. Therefore, it’s a good idea to get plenty of good food in the belly in order to ensure both you and your baby are happy and healthy when he or she pops out to greet the world!
Photo by Natali Hordiiuk
3 – Know Your Stress Triggers
In order to help improve the experience of pregnancy, it’s important to try and minimise all levels of stress. From work to home life, friendships to relationships.
Stress is never good for your own mind or that of the baby. Too much stress can lead to premature birth, so it’s important to not stress out too much when in any trimester of pregnancy.
Try to keep an eye on those occasions when you’re stressed and identify the triggers that need to be avoided.
4 – Know Your Rights
When it comes to work, know your rights.
In Ireland and according to Citizen Information, ‘as an employee, you have the right to take 26 weeks’ maternity leave if you become pregnant’. You also have the right to take up to 16 weeks’ additional maternity leave, which you can take off from full-time or part-time employment. And it doesn’t matter how long you’ve been working for your employer.
In the UK, and according to Gov.Uk, ’employers must give pregnant employees time off for antenatal care and pay their normal rate for this time off.’ Additionally the father or pregnant woman’s partner, has the right to unpaid time off work to attend two antenatal appointments.
While we hope for the best during pregnancy, there can be complications that vary from one expectant mother to the next. Knowing your rights is also essential, should something go wrong. For example, for some, knowing that birth injury solicitors exist helps them, because the simple knowledge that they have a professional to talk to in times of need, can really help put their mind at ease.
Photo by April Vasquez
5 – Have Someone to Talk to
When it comes to pregnancy and ‘How To Have A Stress-Free Pregnancy’, it’s always a very good idea to have someone to talk to. Pregnancy isn’t easy and whether you’re going through it as a single parent or as a couple, it might be helpful to have a friend or family member that you can go to when you’re struggling.
There are also plenty of professional helplines and services that you can explore for extra help.