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Six Relaxation Techniques for a Healthy Pregnancy

Posted on 2/06/2011 in Well-Being

It’s common to experience stress and anxiety during your pregnancy, especially if you’re a first time mother. Preparations for the baby, the change in lifestyle, fluctuating and changing hormone levels in your body --- these are just some of the potential sources of stress. Stress has been linked to the health of unborn babies, so make use of regular exercise, a healthy diet, and other techniques to relieve your pregnancy stress, and bring lots of wellbeing into your day as your body changes by choosing comfortable maternity wear, upgrading your mattress and pillows, and buying some flat shoes.


Recognising Stress


If you’re a busy mother-to-be, then you might not recognise the symptoms of stress. Take a moment to consider whether you’ve been stressed during the last week. Some symptoms of stress can be:

  • Headaches
  • Clenching of teeth
  • Insomnia
  • Headaches
  • Restlessness
  • Inability to focus
  • Skin breakouts
  • Fatigue
  • High blood pressure
  • Heartburn
  • Rapid weight loss or weight gain


Techniques for Relieving Stress and Anxiety During Pregnancy


1. Music


Relaxation music can be a great way to de-stress and clinical studies have shown that babies in the womb can also benefit from the effects of healing music.


It doesn’t have to be a deliberate process; in fact, you relax best when you’re not trying to.

·         Choose music with a tempo similar to the human heart beat during relaxation – around 60 beats per minute.

·         Dim the lights and make sure you’re not too warm or cold in the room.

·         Spend a few minutes getting comfortable in your favourite chair.

·         Sit and listen to the music for at least 10 – 15 minutes.


2. Massage


You can see a professional masseuse or have your partner give you a massage.


·         Massages have been proven to eliminate physical and mental stress and can help you with the birth processes by strengthening your body for endurance.

·         Effective massage can cause the hormones, oxytocin and endorphin, to be released into your body stream, creating a sense of pleasure, comfort, and well-being.

·         A good massage can reduce any back pain or swelling you might experience during your pregnancy.

·         Massage can improve circulation and elimination (lymphatic) systems, reduce swelling and contributing to better health.

·         Massage can have a positive, nurturing psychological effect on your being.


3. Meditation


Meditation does take some practice, but the benefits are well worth it. The health benefits of meditation are well documented. Some of these include improved:

·         ability to focus;

·         creativity;

·         relaxation

·         memory;

·         stress levels; and

·         blood pressure.


4. Napping


Alleviate stress levels by power napping during the day. Napping can be essential for pregnant women as getting a good night’s sleep can sometimes be difficult during pregnancy, with food cravings and changing hormone levels.


5. Regular Exercise


Getting regular exercise is an excellent way of reducing stress while keeping fit and strong. Walking, stretching, low-impact aerobics, pilates, and yoga are all appropriate activities for pregnant women. In addition, swimming is one of the best forms of exercise, and a great opportunity to buy some stylish maternity swimwear.


6. Have a Good Support Network


Establish a good support network with friends and loved ones with whom you can confide in and ask for help or advice as you need it. Stay socially active and maintain a good work-life balance.


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