In today’s article we are going to take a brief look at a few different relaxation techniques that expectant mothers can employ so that they, well, can relax, de-stress, and feel like themselves. Early pregnancy, especially if your are expecting your first child, is a wondrous time of self-reflection and joy, along with a host of changes. Some of these changes are pretty dang unpleasant, if we are honest, so the joy of new life is often accompanied with pain, sickness, anxiety, and, towards the end of the pregnancy, general discomfort.
With all of that in mind, we thought that our readers would appreciate some easy-to-remember tips and tricks for relaxation and self-care. This part of a mother’s life should be enjoyed to the fullest, so if we can help eliminate any unnecessary stress with a couple of positive exercises, then all of the better! Read on if you, or someone close to you, is an expectant mother who wants positivity to increase while the stress and anxiety of the situation can decrease. (Hint, that should be pretty much everybody).
Take Some Time Each Day To Rest
Oftentimes, when we discover we are pregnant, we start to plan, frantically. It soon dawns on all of us, especially if there is a career to juggle alongside the coming little one, that life is soon going to change in a drastic way. It’s only natural that we would want to focus on work while we can, so that we can give our full attention to the final weeks of the term, the birth, and of course, being a mother.
It’s not uncommon to see mothers-to-be stress themselves out beyond belief in the first and second trimesters – attempting to tie up every loose end. But, if we may offer our two cents on the matter, perfection isn’t achievable, as natural of an urge as it is. You want everything in your life to go as smoothly as possible, and that feeling is only intensified when you have a little gal or guy on the way. That feeling can trickle down into all areas of your life, inadvertently. Our advice is this; control what you can control, let the rest go. There will be feelings of helplessness, of confusion, and anxiety. This blog isn’t going to fix that. But what we can do at Deanna D. Midwifery is help you understand what you can control, along with what our expertise can help you be prepared for. That is a fundamental aspect of midwifery care that can’t be overlooked.
Anyway, rest. Do away with the idea that you need to be planning and preparing 24/7. Your mind needs to detox just like our bodies do, and believe us, your mind and thoughts will probably be going 10000000 mph as you begin to conceptualize your new life. Don’t feel guilty about taking this rest. Don’t let people make little comments (or maybe have somebody else tell them to hush up, because even confrontation might be stressful, so be careful with that).
The key to feeling decent the majority of the time is to rest before you absolutely need to rest. While those moments where you have to pass out on the nearest couch are probably coming, being mindful of your body’s needs is important. And if you get stressed out by work, remember your priorities. You and your family’s health should take precedence over all else.
Water brings life, water is movement. Water can heal. Water is to be embraced during pregnancy. While a warm shower can open your pores and soothe aching muscles and joints, soaking in a hot bath for an extended period of time (not too long, mind you) can be even more beneficial. As your little one continues to grow, floating in water can be an effective tool to relieve your body from the new weight you are carrying around all day. Additionally, aerobic exercises in water (take a pregnancy-specific class) have very little impact on your joints, while letting you work muscles which you typically wouldn’t while you are walking around on land.
Whatever spiritual walk you abide by, meditation, or self-reflection, can be a calming technique to employ for pregnant mothers. It has been said that meditation is most effective when practiced for a minimum of 30 minutes. While we can’t speak to the specific research associated with that claim, it makes a certain amount of sense to give your practice a chance to actually be effective. Meditating for five minutes and then checking your phone to see if there is a new Deanna D. Midwifery blog post up this month is not going to optimize the results, flattering as it is of you to do. Bless your heart.
Find some simple, relaxing music that you aren’t going to sing along to – we are attempting to silence the spirit and mind here, let’s get with the program. Light some candles, release some pregnancy-approved essential oils into your atmosphere (we love lavender), and take a position in which you feel comfortable. Silence your mind by focusing on your breathing. Begin to breathe more deeply, taking long, slow breaths. As your focus becomes more singular, you can accept your situation more completely. This has supplemental, trickle-down effects into other aspects of your life, which gets back to controlling what you can, and being at peace with the rest. For more detailed information about specific meditative techniques, check out this piece.
Massage Therapy And One Amazing Study
If you are anything like us, a massage would be one of the first things you do when starting to get stressed or anxious, or even physically uncomfortable. Honestly, you don’t need to be pregnant to enjoy a great massage, but there is some science to back up the claim that massage during pregnancy can have an especially significant impact. One such study showed that participants who were administered massage therapy (as opposed to relaxation therapy, in the control group) experienced improved mood, better sleep, less back pain, along with reduced anxiety. As if those benefits weren’t sufficient enough, participants also were shown to have reduced urinary stress hormone levels and fewer complications during labor, in addition to the infants experiencing fewer postnatal health complications.
So while we should be careful to not consider massage therapy a direct cause for these benefits, the strong correlations can’t be viewed as anything but positive. It is definitely something to consider and talk through with your Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner at your local antenatal clinic, Deanna D. Midwifery.
Deanna D., The Tri-Cities Midwife Of Choice
We hope that you’ve enjoyed a few of these tips related to reducing anxiety and gaining positive mental control over your pregnancy. While we believe these tips will help, each mother and pregnancy is unique, and must be treated as such. Unlike moo moo dresses (no shame, only comfort), there is no one-size-fits-all solution for each expectant mother. That is why we exist here at Deanna D. Midwifery.
With our experience, our level of skill and understanding, and our passion for truly getting to know our clients as people, we believe we can help mothers, and all women, from adolescence to menopause, in a variety of ways. We provide comprehensive healthcare for women which includes general WHNP services to personalized midwifery care. That is why Deanna D. is fast becoming known as the Kennewick, Pasco, and the Richland midwife clinic of choice. Schedule your consultation today.