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How to Reduce Stress During Pregnancy

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Like many other women facing an unplanned pregnancy, you may be feeling emotional and anxious about your situation.

About half of all pregnancies in the U.S. are unplanned, and over half of all American women will experience at least one unplanned pregnancy before the age of 45.

Getting pregnant when you weren’t planning to can be a source of stress, and it can cause a number of emotions including disbelief, anger, fear and embarrassment. But the good news is there are things you can do to cope with stress during your pregnancy.

Causes of Stress While Pregnant

Pregnancy causes hormonal changes in your body which can lead to mood swings and make you feel more emotional at times. On top of that, there are many other situations that can make you feel stressed out as a mom-to-be.

  • Feeling like there’s no one to turn to for help.
  • Worrying about whether you can be a good mom.
  • Juggling pregnancy and parenting with other responsibilities, like work, school, relationships or even caring for older children if you’re already a mom.
  • Financial worries about whether you can afford to take care of your child.
  • Dealing with ongoing life issues such as abuse, chronic health problems or depression.
  • Going through negative events during your pregnancy, which may include divorce, death of a loved one, unemployment or even a natural disaster.
  • Fear of miscarriage and worrying about the health of your baby.
  • Anxiety about labor and delivery.
  • Uncomfortable pregnancy symptoms like nausea, backache and tiredness.

How to Relieve Stress When Pregnant

The March of Dimes recommends several healthy ways to deal with stress during your pregnancy.

  • Seek support from people you can trust. This may include your parents, partner, friends, faith leader or health care professional.
  • Take care of yourself! Eat healthy foods, get enough rest and exercise regularly. Something as simple as taking a walk can boost your mood and is good for you and your baby. Relaxation techniques including meditation, prayer or deep breathing can also help.
  • Seek out community resources. Whether you need help with housing or finances, or want to prepare for childbirth and parenting, there are numerous resources right here in our community ready to provide the assistance you need.
  • Take a childbirth or parenting class. This will help you feel more confident as you prepare for the birth of your baby. For example, Mosaic Pregnancy & Health Centers offers First Steps, a free childbirth and parenting class that covers lots of important topics like what to do during labor, breastfeeding and keeping your child safe. Plus you’ll earn a gift basket of free baby items like diapers, onesies and toys when you complete the class.
  • If you have a job, talk to your employer. Most employers are happy to accommodate workers who are expecting a child. The sooner you talk with your supervisor, the easier it’ll be to make plans for your time off and returning to work after the birth of your baby.
  • Talk to a health professional about how to treat uncomfortable pregnancy symptoms like nausea or mood swings. Seek help if you are experiencing depression.

You can also access free pregnancy services including pregnancy testing, STI testing and treatment, ultrasound and medically accurate abortion information from Mosaic PHC.

If you’re feeling stressed about an unplanned pregnancy or think you might be pregnant, contact us right away. We’re here to help you and put you in touch with the resources you need during this challenging time in your life.