There are so many things to think about when you are expecting a new baby. You might think about all the things the baby might want or need. You think about what it's going to be like holding that child, watching them grow and seeing them explore the new world. You might think about what it's going to be like waking up every hour during those first few months and wonder how you're going to survive motherhood.
Something that many people don't think about when they plan for a new baby is how much they're going to worry about that child. A parent begins to worry the second the pee stick says your body is on go for hosting a new life. And while they say that worrying is part of being a parent, there is definitely a fine line between worrying and obsessing.
It's common for mothers-to-be to question what's normal and what's not. Is my baby kicking enough? Is this spotting a sign of miscarriage? My stomach is cramping, am I in premature labor? And on and on. Whether or not she voices her concerns, they are there. Unfortunately, it takes the joy out of pregnancy and it's not really healthy for anyone involved.
Studies have shown that at 17 weeks, the fetus is shown to have the same levels of the stress hormone called cortisol as they mother does. Having higher levels of stress is bad for your immune system, your emotional health and your cognitive development. So it is so important for a mother-to-be to keep her stress in check. Does this mean you should turn a blind eye to all that stresses you? Of course not. Does this mean your partner should bend over backwards pampering you so you don't feel stressed? Sorry ladies, but the answer here is no. All that it means is that now is as good a time as any to learn positive coping skills. Here is a list of my personal favorites:
1. Journal; you could also write letters to your new baby or simply document the experience. Either way, writing has shown to have tremendous benefits.
2. Meditate; if you have a hard time meditating you can try the adult coloring books. They have been shown to give the same effects of meditation.
3. Take up a craft. Knitting is excellent for anxiety. It's a repetitive motion, so it's not overwhelming, but it gives you just enough focus to get your mind off of stressors. Learn how to knit a simple baby blanket here: http://www.purlsoho.com/create/2008/05/24/whits-knits-super-easy-baby-blanket/
4. Take care of your health; Eating well and moderate levels of exercise are a must for pregnancy. Prenatal yoga, pilates and barre classes are a fun way to lift your mood.
5. Start a gratitude practice. Keep a gratitude journal or make a gratitude poster. Either way, it will help you stay positive and optimistic.
Of course, hypnotherapy is a wonderful tool to use as well. Hypnosis can help you prepare for a new addition to the family, through the labor and delivery and help you adjust to life with a little one. For more information on how hypnosis can provide you with all the coping skills you need to have a peaceful, joyful pregnancy experience, click the link below.
Best wishes to your growing families!