There are so many thoughts spinning around in your head when pregnant. I am currently 22 weeks with my first pregnancy, and the thoughts never stop circling my brain. Constantly planning every detail to bring your child into this world from nursery decorating to buying everything you need to planning your baby shower. Not to mention preparing yourself for the birth!
Sometimes you just have to sit back, relax, and realize what an amazing journey you are going through. It’s easy to become overwhelmed and stressed during pregnancy, but it is vital to take necessary time for yourself and unwind not only for your health, but for your baby’s health as well.
Factors that increase stress during pregnancy:
Besides overthinking and planning every little detail in preparation for your little one to join you earthside, there are some more serious factors that can increase stress during pregnancy. These include a prior negative experience with pregnancy, relationship difficulties, and pregnancy complications. At this point in time in history, we are also dealing with an ongoing pandemic which adds additional stress. Hormones can also play a role in your ever-shifting moods, and can make it harder to manage your stress. Lastly, dealing with morning sickness, backaches, and headaches can take a physical toll and leave you feeling burdened.
Effects of stress during pregnancy:
Don’t feel guilty for feeling stressed- it is a perfectly normal emotion to feel as you are experiencing so many changes. Stress can basically become a personality trait for some (I am guilty of this myself), and while tough to combat at times, it is vital to your health and the baby’s health to take a chill pill and learn to make self-care a priority.
High levels of stress can have many negative effects on your health such as high blood pressure, heart disease, and even premature labor. Your mental wellness is just as important as your physical wellness, and we are happy to share some ideas for keeping yourself stress free (as much as possible) and including self-care into your weekly routine!
Tips for the ultimate relaxation during pregnancy:
Enjoy something just for you
Try a warm bubble bath with your favorite relaxing music and some candles to set the tranquil mood. Do something that brings you happiness whether it’s treating yourself to your favorite foods, reading a new book, starting that Netflix series you’ve been putting off, or pampering yourself with a spa day.
Apply your favorite skincare regimen
Skincare isn’t just for your face- it’s also important to nourish and support your growing baby bump. The last thing you want to stress about is “Am I using products that are safe for myself and my baby?” Fortunately, TriLASTIN has got you covered!
I have personally used the Complete Maternity Prevention Routine, and look forward to treating myself to these products every single day. Not to mention, they make you smell like a light, warm sugar cookie! There’s something about a nice skincare routine that really makes you feel like you have your life together.
The Complete Maternity Stretch Mark Prevention Routine is the ultimate three step system that covers all bases. This incredible skincare line includes the HydroThermal Accelerator to warm the skin and open the pores, the Maternity Prevention Cream to hydrate and moisturize the skin, and the Nourishing Body Oil to lock in all that yummy goodness and provide maximum hydration. As an added bonus, these products can be used before, during, and after pregnancy and are completely safe for you and your baby.
There are many essential oils that can be used safely during later stages of pregnancy and used for relaxation. It is recommended that pregnant women should avoid the use of essential oils in the first trimester, as they could potentially cause adverse reactions. More studies need to be done for hard evidence, but it is best to be cautious within that first trimester.
A few safe essential oils for the second and third trimester are ginger, lemon, lavender, frankincense, eucalyptus, and tea tree oil. Some oils to avoid are cinnamon, clove, rosemary, clary sage, basil, and oregano.
A few things to take into consideration when using aromatherapy:
- Choose high quality oils without synthetic additives, and never use an oil if you’re unsure what it is.
- Be sure to dilute the oils and do not ingest them. A great carrier oil for dilution would be TriLASTIN’s Nourishing Body Oil.
- Essential oils can be used via a diffuser, steam inhalation, or through body care. TriLASTIN Maternity Stretch Mark Prevention Cream includes stress reducing chamomile, vanilla, orange, and grapefruit oils.
Note: Always check with your doctor before using essential oils or introducing any new products during pregnancy. When used properly, aromatherapy can be soothing and provide great stress relief!
Rest as much as possible
I’m sure you have heard this one a lot since becoming pregnant, but it's for good reason. Your body needs all the rest it can get right now. Rest doesn’t just have to come in the form of naps. Peaceful meditation and breathing exercises can also be beneficial and provide some nice relaxation. Ten to fifteen minutes is all you need!
From the very beginning of my pregnancy, my doctors stressed the importance of staying physically active throughout my pregnancy. During the first trimester, it was a no-go for me as I was dealing with raging morning sickness all day. However, now that I am in my second trimester I have started leaning into exercise more now that I have more energy to give.
A few great ideas for staying active are prenatal yoga or prenatal pilates (there are classes online!), walking, aquanatal classes, and swimming.
Know your limits
This is aimed towards all the people pleasers out there. Being a people pleaser myself, I have struggled with knowing my limits (especially during my pregnancy). You'll find that during pregnancy it doesn’t take much to wear you down both mentally and physically. Saying no to plans can be hard to do, but it’s important to take care of yourself right now and allow yourself time to rest when needed.
Massage is a wonderful way to relieve stress and relax your muscles during pregnancy. Book a professional massage, or massage yourself when you feel the stress starting to take over. Your partner is another great resource for trying out this relaxation method!
We recommend using an oil, such as TriLASTIN Nourishing Body Oil, to reduce friction as you massage. After a long day, I cannot wait to use TriLASTIN Body Oil. It works wonders for soothing my tired legs and feet. I simply spray a few squirts into my hands and work the muscles with soft, kneading motions. I also focus on my breathing for maximum relaxation!
Positive Self Talk
Allow positive thoughts to flow freely through your mind and you will feel the stress melt away. Repeat your favorite mantra over and over again either in your head or aloud. Doing so will push out any negative thoughts and energy, and help your mind focus.
We suggest something along the lines of “I let go of the worry, tension, and fear of pregnancy and birth and am focused on the joy of meeting my child.” You can also create a mantra that fits your specific situation and feels good to you. When the nerves start to get to you, close your eyes, breathe, and repeat your mantra. You got this mama!
Take a nice, long nap
In addition to hormonal changes, physical and emotional changes can drain your energy leaving you to feel fatigued. This is especially true in the first trimester. Your body's working overtime to grow this amazing little human, so it’s no surprise that you are feeling the effects from it.
Naps are not only beneficial to you, but to your baby as well. According to a 2018 study, napping is linked to a healthier birth weight. When you’re able, take advantage of taking as many naps as you can!
Stretching to relieve muscle tension and aches
Stretching is an easy exercise that can be done just about anywhere, and when done daily, it can alleviate any pain and uncomfortability you may be experiencing. It’s important to warm up before jumping into stretches, and limit yourself to a range of motion that feels good but is not painful.
An easy stretch to start with is the Cat-Cow stretch. This stretch is wonderful for relieving back pain throughout your pregnancy. Start by getting onto your hands and knees. Gently and slowly, curl your back upward and look down. After a few seconds, drop your chest through your shoulders allowing your belly to dip towards the floor and arch your back, looking forward. Hold each position for roughly 10-15 seconds and repeat up to five times.
Pregnancy can be stressful at times, and sometimes it can be an overwhelming feeling. Give these tips a try to melt your stress away and leave you feeling like your best self!
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