How to Relax During Pregnancy

How to relax during pregnancy, particularly these days when most women are leading busy lifestyles, is something that is of concern to many pregnant women.

Stress during pregnancy is not good for many reasons. Perhaps most importantly it’s useful to know that you should avoid getting too stressed during your pregnancy as stress can reduce blood flow to the uterus resulting in a smaller birth weight baby. Stress can also cause potentially dangerous increases in blood pressure increasing the risk of stroke and other stress related conditions in pregnant women.

Unfortunately, many mothers-to-be find it difficult to completely relax and de-stress during pregnancy particularly if they have other young children to care for or are leading a generally hectic lifestyle. The following tips are intended to give you some advice on ways you can relax when you are pregnant:

• Try to get some time alone to yourself every day just to close your eyes, empty your mind of thoughts and get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life

• Treat yourself to some lavender bubble bath/ shower gel/ body lotion or aromatherapy oils. Lavender has many healing properties and is a wonderful relaxation aid. It is also often used during labour by mothers-to-be who find it relaxes them at a time when they are likely to be nervous.

• If you can afford it book yourself in for an occasional pregnancy pampering session at a beauty spa.

• Practice deep breathing techniques whilst sitting upright or try to attend pregnancy yoga classes.

• Get some exercise – a short brisk walk can do wonders for your mood and overall feelings of wellness. Swimming is also excellent for pregnant women as the water lightens the weight of the growing baby and many swimming centres run antenatal yoga classes tailored especially for pregnant women.

• Go to bed early in the evening and refrain from eating stodgy food as it can leave you feeling lethargic and under the weather.

• Treat yourself to B”Mums pregnancy relaxation CD and listen to it regularly to benefit fully from it. The recording features a guided relaxation alongside background music which has been recorded at a speed that induces deep relaxation. It is a wonderful way to enjoy the power of deep relaxation at a fraction of the cost a therapist would charge.

Sinead Hoben runs the popular pregnancy and breastfeeding website which provides valuable and informative articles about pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding, babies and parenting.