Pregnancy can be stressful. While some pregnant people feel calm throughout all three trimesters, others are not as lucky. If you’re like me, struggling to relax and feeling the physical symptoms of stress, you may be wondering what steps to reduce stress while pregnant you can take.
Stress can make us feel horrible in general. It can cause headaches, nausea, difficulty concentrating, and more. During pregnancy, stress can lead to the same symptoms that may be written off as common pregnancy ailments. But you don’t have to accept this suffering. There are plenty of steps you can take to reduce your stress and the symptoms that come with it.
Step 1: Find Your Triggers
There are many factors that can lead to moderate and high levels of stress like work, family, finances, environment, grief, food, and big life changes such as pregnancy.
Identifying where your stress is coming from is key to undoing it and reducing stress while pregnant. Sit down, make a list of everything that’s on your mind. Reflect on your environment, relationships, and career. What is making you feel anxious?
Step 2: Practice Stress Reduction Techniques
Stress will not go away on its own. Instead, it will fester and increase the severity of symptoms over time.
So, it’s important to practice stress reduction techniques like mindfulness and self-care. That’s why I created my 5 Day Pregnancy De-Stress Challenge. Every day starting October 18, participants will receive a self-care activity that will let them indulge in relaxation and ease pregnancy discomforts from stress (It’s not too late to sign up! Click here to join or sign up below).
Step 3: Make a Plan
Incorporating stress reduction techniques and self-care will help minimize and cope with symptoms of stress. However, the root of the issue (your stress trigger) may still exist. Perhaps your trigger is a situation that isn’t easily fixed or is long-term. That’s okay. It’s natural to be overwhelmed. But, you can still make a plan either with your partner, family, health coach, care provider, etc to take actionable steps for coping or working toward solving what’s causing your stress.
So, here it is – three steps to reduce stress while pregnant. De-stressing isn’t always easy and doesn’t happen overnight. But learning to put your well-being first, can make a difference.
If your stress leads to feelings of depression or severe anxiety, it’s never too late to consult a maternal mental health professional for help.
Common Plus Size Pregnancy Discomforts
Pregnancy, while a wonderfully joyous time, can also be full of stress and physical discomforts. Our bodies are drastically changing by the moment to accommodate the little life growing inside. If you were expecting that gorgeous pregnancy glow, only to be spending a lot more face time with your toilet, you are not alone. I thought I would feel like a goddess, but instead I had extreme nausea, fatigue, and aches and pains. Also, as a plus size mom my discomfort was even higher because of the extra weight I gained during pregnancy. What I didn’t know then was that there are solutions that could have helped ease these discomforts. So, here are 3 common plus size pregnancy discomforts and the remedies to help you.
Ah, yes. The oft-spoke about morning sickness. Some are lucky to not experience much nausea or vomiting in the first trimester. If you’re not one of those people (I feel you), here are some things you can do:
- Eat small, frequent meals. (Tip: we often crave carbs when we’re nauseous. Opt for whole wheat or whole grain options to avoid simple, sugary carbs. Plus, whole grains have more fiber! See below for why that’s an added bonus)
- Take vitamin B6. Several studies have shown that this essential B vitamin significantly decreases nausea and vomiting in pregnant women. In fact, vitamin B6 makes up 50% of the ingredients of a popular prescription for nausea and vomiting for pregnant women, Diclegis. **Ask your doctor before taking any supplements**
- Wear motion-sickness wristbands.
- Sip clear fluids. Sugar-free flavored or plain seltzer is a great go-to. I LOVED using my S’well bottle during pregnancy. It kept my drink cold all day long. Luckily, S’well is having a Labor Day Sale: 25% off sitewide! Valid 9/2-9/6. Take advantage while you can!
Baby is growing, which means you are too! Our muscles are being stretched and pulled in all different directions and the baby is getting heavier every week, so it’s only natural to be feeling achy. You don’t have to grin and bear it. You deserve to be as comfortable as possible. Here are my suggestions:
- Prenatal yoga. If you can, prenatal yoga classes help keep our muscles strong, our bodies balanced, our stress lower, and our muscles stretched. **Ask your doctor which types of exercise are right for you and your pregnancy**
- Prenatal massage. Get pampered, mama! After the first trimester, it is generally considered safe to get a prenatal massage from a qualified masseuse. Or ask your partner or friend to give you a light massage.
- Belly support. As your belly grows, we can start to feel more back and ligament pain. Buying a belly band or having your doula or midwife assist you with belly wrapping (either with cloth or tape) can help your body better support your baby’s weight, and ultimately, help ease those pains.
- Drink more water. Hydration helps those crampy muscles.
- Warmth. A warm bath or compress on the area that’s bothering you could help give you relief
- Maternity pillow. This is worth the investment. The further along we get, especially in the third trimester, the more uncomfortable we may feel and the harder it is to sleep at night. Having a maternity pillow to cradle your belly and cushion between your legs, taking the pressure off your spine, can make your nights, and days, more comfortable.
Our babies need a lot of room, which means our intestines have much less room. Constipation can cause A LOT of discomfort in your lower belly. The bloating, the cramping – the struggle is real. Here are my tips to get things moving:
There are many solutions and alternatives to try to ease common plus size pregnancy discomforts. Sometimes it’s a matter of trial and error, but the most important thing is helping you be as comfortable as possible.