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Excess levels of stress at any point in your life isn’t a very healthy thing – more so when you’re pregnant! But being a somewhat turbulent experience, it’s not easy to always avoid stress during your pregnancy. With a number of things to take care of, right from your unborn baby’s health to unexpected expenses to possible health complications, it’s possible that you’ll find your stress levels peaking at some point or the other. And these little bursts of stress can cause you and your baby more harm than you can think of!
How Does Excess Stress Affect a Pregnancy?
Stress can rear its head during pregnancy in many forms, from headaches to overeating to having trouble sleeping. But that’s just the beginning – excessive levels of stress can lead to serious complications, such as increased risks for preterm delivery, miscarriage, and/or low birth weight of the baby. And while the matter is still debatable, some studies have also found a link between behavioural problems in children to chronic stress experienced by their mothers while pregnant. There’s no dearth of triggers that can set you off – anxiety about the birth, about your body and health, about your baby, about the rising expenses (some of which may take you by surprise), and tons of other stuff! Of course, short bouts of stress that result from these triggers, as well as arguments or severe mood swings, won’t have you rushing to the hospital all the time. But if left unchecked, these little bouts can cause bigger problems in the future.
How to Ensure a Stress-Free Pregnancy
Now that you know the few main things that can keep you from having a restful pregnancy, here are a couple of measures you can try to tackle them head-on!
1. Eat and sleep well
There’s nothing like the benefits of good food and sound sleep, is there? Make sure that you follow a well-balanced diet, supplemented by a healthy amount of water daily (2 – 2.5 litres of water a day is recommended during pregnancy, as you’ll be drinking for two). Having your meals at regular times can help prevent your blood sugar levels from dropping, which in turn will keep you from feeling moody and tired all day long. As for sleep, we’re sure you know that feeling tired and sleep-deprived doesn’t put you in your best mood, and it certainly does it bit in increasing stress levels too. So catch those forty winks and 8 hours of sleep every night without fail!
2. Talk to someone you trust
Feeling as though you’re on edge the whole time? Or worried about yours or your baby’s health? If you feel like there’s a problem that needs to be addressed, speak to someone who you know you can rely on. This can be anyone, from your spouse to your parents to your best friends – anyone you think can help you out. Even if they aren’t able to do so directly, they may be able to direct you to someone who can. But keeping mum about something that’s troubling you is never the solution!
3. Get financial concerns out of the way
Pregnancy is a beautiful experience, no doubt, but it can be super challenging physically, emotionally, and let’s not forget, financially! From diagnostic tests to examinations to ultrasound scans to hospitalisation to tons of other expenses (most of which aren’t usually covered under health insurance plans), you’ll find yourself shelling out a considerable amount of money constantly, and that can definitely add to your stress. Instead of working up a major hole in your savings, opt for Lifecare Finance from Bajaj Finserv to avail the best of maternity care on easy EMIs. Available in 400+ cities, this payment system offers a loan of up to Rs. 4 lakhs, which can be conveniently repaid over a period spanning up to 18 months. You can avail on-spot financing simply by submitting certain basic documents or with your Health EMI Network Card. Right from conception through IVF treatment to consultations with a nutritionist to regular health check-ups and for the process of delivery, Lifecare Finance can easily be your one-stop solution to financing your maternity care needs. This way, you can concentrate more on yourself and your baby without constantly stressing over money matters!
4. Exercise regularly
We don’t mean strenuous workouts, of course – gentle exercise should do the trick just fine. There are several types of exercises that are perfectly safe to do during pregnancy, be it swimming, walking, stationary cycling, low-impact aerobics and so on. Not only will exercising regularly help you stay fit, but it also lowers the level of cortisol (also known as the stress hormone) in your body, thereby reducing stress levels too.
5. Don’t skip appointments with your doctor
Make sure you regularly visit your doctor, so that you’re well aware of how you’re progressing in your pregnancy, and if there are any problems you need to be aware of, regarding you or your baby. Regular appointments can help screen any complications right from the beginning, so that appropriate measures can be taken.
From promoting better sleep to relieving stress and anxiety (especially if you start practising meditation or yoga in early pregnancy) to reducing the possibility of postpartum depression, practising meditation has numerous benefits that can help you during pregnancy. You can try guided meditation or follow videos online to understand the right techniques.
7. Prepare for the birth
A lot of times, stress can stem from the very thought of having to go through the birthing procedure – after all, you would have heard plenty of stories that can make you anxious for what’s ahead. But you can always be prepared by asking the right people about your doubts, be it your doctor or someone you trust. Making a flexible birth plan, treating any suspicious symptoms early on, or even going for therapy (if you’re extremely anxious) can be helpful in combating stress levels.
8. Prioritise ‘me time’!
If not now, then when! Carving out a few minutes of your day to do something you like is super important. Whether it’s simply to listen to soothing music, journal your thoughts, meditate, watch TV or to do nothing at all, make sure that you prioritise your comfort and your time. Try it for yourself; taking a break can do major wonders for your mental health!
9. Don’t forget the post-delivery part!
You may be well aware that stress is not something you need to take care of only during pregnancy – after all, what comes after those trying 9 months is the actual difficult part. From expenses shooting up post the baby’s arrival, any possible health complications you face after the delivery, or even arranging funds for post-natal treatments, there could be plenty of triggers to crank up your stress levels. The same measures mentioned above apply still – prioritise your well-being and take care of your health; after all, you can only care for your little one if you’re feeling your best! Also, opt for a safe financial measure that will help keep your reserve funds and the money saved away for your baby intact, such as the Lifecare Finance,which can cover all your maternity care needs – sessions with nutritionists, health check-ups, IVF treatment, delivery, and even stem cell preservation once the baby is born. Identify triggers that make you anxious, be prepared for the things you know are headed your way and ask for help whenever you need it. You can know more about Lifecare Finance by watching our video. You can also check your pre-approved offer by filling in the form below. Remember, it’s not the little bouts of stress that can harm you or your unborn baby but chronic stress that goes unchecked. While these measures may seem small now, your mind, body, and your baby will thank you for taking them in the future!