Make time to rest
Resting is good for you and your baby. It’s fine to say ‘no’ when you don’t have the energy to take on extra chores – even if you do have the time. At work, find somewhere to put your feet up and relax during your lunch break. In the evenings, try to cut down on chores. If you already have a child, it can be very hard to find the time to rest. Try and get trustworthy child care for an afternoon, while you have a well-earned break.
It’s very important to eat well in pregnancy. A healthy diet can help combat stress. Foods containing B Vitamins, such as yeast extract, wholegrain bread and wholegrain rice, increase your levels of the anti-stress hormone serotonin.
Antenatal yoga or exercise
Yoga during pregnancy not only tones your body, but the relaxation technique and breathing exercises will also help you in labour. Physical exercises also relieves tension. You can continue with the exercise you did before you were pregnant – so long as it is safe to do so. If you’re in any doubt, check with your doctor. If you attend exercise classes, always inform your instructor that you are pregnant.
Complementary therapies to relax
Massage, reflexology and mediation are all great ways to help you relax in pregnancy. Of these meditation is the easiest because you just need a quite place and time to sit and unwind. If you prefer massage or reflexology, be sure to go to someone experienced in treating pregnant women. Also make sure that any aromatherapy or essential oils you use are safe for pregnancy. Some oils are not suitable for the first or third trimester.
Give time to relationships
It’s quite normal to worry about how a baby will affect your relationship with your husband. If you can, speak to a friend or family member who has a young baby to pick up some useful tips and ideas. And spend as much time as you can with your husband since you will not get much alone time after the baby comes. Being open about your fears and concerns is the best way for both of you to work through the transition to parenthood together.
Talk about it
If you’re worried about whether your baby is healthy or whether he will be born safely, you’re not alone. Talking about these concerns will really help, whether it’s with your husband, mother or a friend who already has children. Other women at the same stage of pregnancy as you will also share your concerns. You can find pregnancy friends in our community.
You may be planning to work until just a few weeks before your due date but commuting can be a major source of stress. Ask your employer if you can avoid rush hours, particularly if you use public transport. Perhaps starting and finishing work earlier would be possible, or even working from home one or two days a week. Read more on commuting and travel during pregnancy.
Prepare for the birth
You may be worrying about what labour will be like and how you will cope with the pain. Learn more about what happens during labour by signing up for antenatal classes. Being informed will help you feel more confident and in control. If your fear of childbirth is so overwhelming that you would rather have a caesarean section than a normal delivery, talk to your doctor. With the right counselling and support, you can be helped to overcome these fears.