How do I Minimize Prenatal Stress?

Tara Barnett
Tara Barnett
A pregnant woman.
A pregnant woman.

The key to minimizing prenatal stress is being in touch with yourself. On the pregnancy front, you will have to deal with a number of potentially stressful situations, so it is a good idea to be well informed and have a clear stand on any decision that is likely to be stressful. At work and home, normal activities may become particularly stressful, and having well-established and effective coping mechanisms can help mitigate these problems. It is true that stress can have negative effects on both mother and child, and knowing this can actually make stress worse, so it is a good idea to remember that worrying about stress is just more stress. No single activity will provide full relief from stress for any person, but most mothers are able to find a personal activity that provides a space free from stress.

Reducing working hours may help reduce prenatal stress.
Reducing working hours may help reduce prenatal stress.

Building knowledge is one of the most important techniques for minimizing prenatal stress. Prenatal stress is often related to uncertainty about pregnancy, worries for the baby, or concerns about the future. By reducing the amount of uncertainty during the pregnancy, you can often reduce the amount of prenatal stress.

General worries, hormones, and feeling ill can all make normal activities seem particularly stressful. To decrease stress in these areas, it is important to stay organized and seek support. Reducing your working hours can help alleviate stress, but this technique can be more stressful for some people. Thinking about what you enjoy and where you feel most at ease should help when making decisions about how to reduce stress in these areas.

Finding support is one of the easiest ways to minimize prenatal stress. Certainly, some people find that emotional and practical support from a partner is helpful and reduces stress, but just as many people find that a partner's good intentions become irritating or, paradoxically, stressful. As such, getting emotional support from friends, other expecting mothers, or even your own family can be good alternative plans.

The activities that reduce prenatal stress are remarkably individual. For one woman yoga may reduce stress, while for another it may be just another activity to stress out about. Thinking of a hobby that you associate with relaxation when not pregnant can be the best way to determine which activity is likely to reduce prenatal stress. For many women, a craft such as knitting or scrap booking is very relaxing, while many women relax by reading, watching TV, or listening to music. Staying in touch with what you need is the only way to prevent stress from spiraling out of control, so making time for a relaxing activity is very important during pregnancy.

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