Every day each of us is faced with stress. Our daily demands drain our limited resources of time, energy, money, and focus. There never seems to be enough resources to go around, building stress builds and it gets compounded daily.
What if there was a way to find balance and peace in our lives? A way to be happy in our lives? I propose that although we can reduce all sources of stress in our lives, we can however develop better coping strategies both short term and long term. For example, money: saving every day by reducing unnecessary purchases and setting up automatic retirement savings can reduce daily stress over money and make saving for retirement a bit easier.
Pregnancy offers a unique opportunity to perceive and review your daily lives. Everyone wants to avoid unnecessary pain and suffering. Simple daily choices can not only reduce pregnancy discomforts and stress but also work to improve your birth and postpartum experience. For example, posture and body mechanics: by switching out your office chair for an exercise ball you can strengthen your core muscles and align your baby in utero therefor reducing pregnancy and birth discomforts. In labor, a strong core facilitates movement, which when combined with an aligned baby will help the baby to descend and be born with less pain and in a shorter period of time.
Other ways to reduce pregnancy stress can include:
- Proper nutrition supports a healthy baby, placenta, and can reduce tearing at delivery.
- Sitting upright and not slouching at the desk or on the couch at the end of the day, helps the baby to find the right direction out, reducing birth complications.
- Exercise can provide an outlet for stress and help to increase your body’s coping mechanisms for pregnancy and delivery.
- Listening to your body when it is sore or is in pain. Pregnant women should not experience pain. If your body is hurting seek out a chiropractor, physical therapist, acupuncturist, or massage therapist for assessment.
- Meditation helps to teach the body how to take deep breaths, oxygenating all the tissues support the mother and the baby. Consider a meditation app like Insight Timer or Headspace.
- Laughter, cuddling, and spending time with ones you care about can about increases oxytocin in the body which prepares the body for birth.