Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Stress and Pregnancy

Stress and Pregnancy

Stress is very much a part of most people's lives.

Stress can be encountered in everyday hassles like bills to pay, long queues or traffic or poor time management.

Stress during pregnancy can be chronic as in situations of domestic abuse. 

Stress during pregnancy can be acute as in the death of a loved one. 

Stress during pregnancy can lead to harmful tendencies such as drinking. 

Too much stress during pregnancy leads to mental and physical ailments.

Stressed out people often get angry quickly and fall sick easily.

Often we can't tell if we are suffering from stress. The way you live and your reactions to everyday situations can affect your stress level. Do you sleep well or do you worry about your work and family, health, money and other everyday concerns. If yes you could be stressed.

The signs

• Reduced concentration or focus
• Irritation or feeling hassled easily
• Disturbed eating patterns i.e. loss of appetite or binging 

• Insomnia and fatigue
• Feeling anxious all the time
• Withdrawal
• Body aches and headaches
• Inability to relax
• High blood pressure

The Relax Technique

Once a day for 10 minutes or more, focus on relaxation. Lie back in a chair or on your side on the bed with pillows supporting your neck and shoulders. Take slow deep breaths. 

Think about something pleasant with your eyes shut. Block out your surroundings, the world at large and just focus on pleasantries or your baby. Contract and relax every part of your body.

Focus on how your body feels. Start with your toes first; squeeze your toes and then let go. Feel the tension seep out of your body. Do the same with your calves, thighs, pelvic floor, buttocks and so on until you reach your forehead. Stay in this state, ensuring all your muscles are relaxed and at the same time stay focused on your imagined thought. The aim is to prevent worrying thoughts from entering your mind. Surrender yourself to tranquility.
It may not come easily but learning to relax is beneficial and it is something that requires practice and dedication. Make it a habit to spend quiet time away from everything else.