When you're expecting a child, caring for yourself should be your top priority. While you might already be practicing several strategies for caring for yourself, it's necessary to think about your emotional health, too. Avoiding stress while you're pregnant is critical — given the ability of stress to affect your body, the health of your child may be at risk if you're under extreme stress. Given that being pregnant can be stressful in its own right, you should make sure that you're doing several things to lessen your stress. Here are some suggestions:
Take Time Off Work
Some women work right up until a couple days before they give birth, but this strategy doesn't work for everyone. If you have a stressful job, it may not be healthy to take this approach. One way to assess the stresses of your career is to note whether you're anxious in the morning before work or if you're in a bad mood by the time you arrive home at the end of the day. If this is the case, or if your job is loaded with stressful deadlines or even conflicts with co-workers, it may be in your best interest to begin your maternity leave as early as you can.
Hire Help Around The House
While not every woman has the resources to hire help around the house, doing so can dramatically cut down on your daily stress if you're able to make this move. Keeping up the house — cooking, cleaning, and caring for your other children — can be highly stressful and won't give you much time for relaxing and taking care of yourself. Hiring someone to clean every week, someone to prepare a couple meals for you each week, or even someone to take your kids for a couple hours after school can allow you to relax more deeply.
Have Your Spouse Do More
It might seem simple, but if you're over-functioning while your spouse isn't doing very much, the simple concept of having him pick up the slack can make your stress melt away. For example, if you handle the family's shopping and management of finances, taking these tasks off your plate and having your spouse take care of them can be a good idea. Additionally, look for other tasks that you do and that he can easily do. While you don't want to run him ragged, the reality is that any good spouse will want to do as much as possible so that his wife can relax while pregnant. For additional tips on how to lessen your stress, schedule an appointment with a pregnancy counseling service.