5 Tips To Avoid Excess Stress When Pregnant • AD

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Finding out that you are pregnant is an exciting yet overwhelming feeling. According to research from The Baby Show, 70% of 1,000 surveyed mums and mums to be felt overwhelmed and experienced mental health issues during and after pregnancy. Personally, I found that my anxiety was definitely heightened during pregnancy, particularly with my diagnosis of gestational diabetes. Preparing for the arrival of a tiny human whilst also feeling exhausted, possibly still working and just dealing with the general stresses of everyday life - there's no wonder so many of us may feel stressed!

However, there are steps you can take to reduce this overwhelm and protect your mental health before the birth of your new baby. In this post, I'm sharing just 5 of my top tips to avoid stress:

Get organised (and write lots of lists!)

Leaving everything until the last few weeks of pregnancy can cause stress levels to skyrocket. The last thing you want to do is become stressed about your baby's birth, at a time when you should be enjoying the experience! Make a list of everything you need to do and buy (yes, I mean everything!) and give yourself deadlines, whether this is finding the suitable pram, packing your hospital bags or buying nursery furniture. If you're feeling anxious about the actual birth of your baby, researching different birth options and preparing yourself fully will definitely help to reduce your stress levels. For me, I found The Positive Birth Company very useful. Whilst I didn't purchase their hypnobirthing course, I did follow a lot of their advice on Instagram and read a lot of the positive birth stories on their website to calm my anxieties.

Talk to someone about your feelings

Every single woman has questions and queries about pregnancy, giving birth and those immense first few weeks with a new baby in the home. Talking to other mums, friends, family members, or health professionals involved in your care can help you find the answers to issues that worry you and ease your mind. Remember, many different things are involved in growing a human inside your body, and you are entitled to learn as much or as little as you need! After being diagnosed with gestational diabetes, I felt very anxious, alone and guilty that I'd caused harm to my baby. Talking to friends, family and connecting with new mums in the same situation on Instagram helped me to feel less alone and reduced my stress levels.

Take advice with a pinch of salt

For some strange reason, when you become pregnant, every single person you ever meet or come into contact with will have an idea about every aspect of your pregnancy (and they will all be different) from what you eat and drink to the clothing and shoes you are wearing to your birth preferences and even the type of exercise you do! Avoid taking any of it to heart and take advice from your midwife, GP and those you trust. Ignore everything else! People may be trying to help, but at the end of the day, you know your body and baby best.

Whatever you do, don't Google!

Dr Google isn't always correct, and whenever you search for anything medical-related, it can have a tendency to terrify you more than you already are! Avoid Googling any symptoms or worries you might have which may lead you down chat site rabbit holes (Mumsnet anyone?!) as all this will do is add to your stress and anxiety. Like I mentioned in my first trimester diary post, I ended up Googling my sudden loss of symptoms at around 9 weeks and was convinced something terrible had happened. By avoiding Google, I could have saved myself a lot of pre-baby sleepless nights!

Eat healthily (as much as you can!)

Everyone knows the notion of eating for two is now a medical myth! However, you must ensure that you are eating a healthy, balanced diet as much as possible. Include as many fruits and vegetables and lean proteins as possible to support your pregnancy health. That being said, if your cravings call for chocolate, ice cream and all things 'naughty', then unless you have gestational diabetes, you should absolutely treat yourself! After all, you are growing a human.

While pregnancy is a beautiful time, it can be also be a difficult and sometimes lonely period in your life. Taking steps to preserve your mental health and reduce stress as much as possible is vital to ensure a healthier pregnancy. It will also allow you to relax and enjoy this time whilst preparing yourself for the next exciting chapter in your life!

Do you have any tips to reduce stress? How do you take time to look after your mental health?

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I'm Jemma, a 28 year old Disney-obsessed adult(ish) with a deep love for chocolate, the colour pink and musical theatre. I live in the UK with my fiancé (Ben), our newborn baby girl (Penelope) and our black cat (Nora).

My blog and social media is 'my little corner of the internet', where I share anything and everything that I am passionate about!

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