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Methods for Natural Anxiety Relief During Pregnancy

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Are you worried about maternal illnesses, your baby’s well-being, and future financial issues? Take a deep, slow breath. Experiencing anxiety while you’re pregnant is normal.

In fact, about 20 to 40% of pregnant women experience anxiety or depression during their pregnancies. While it’s normal to feel on edge, your anxiety could keep you from recognising the joys of pregnancy.

Here are a few tips for natural anxiety relief during pregnancy you can use to improve your mental wellness. Keep calm and carry your baby on with these proven methods!

Exercise

Exercising during your pregnancy can benefit your mental and physical health. For example, exercising could:

  • Promote healthy weight gain
  • Reduce back pain
  • Decrease your risk of Caesarean birth
  • Strengthen your heart and blood vessels
  • Improve your overall fitness
  • Reduce your risk of gestational diabetes
  • Make it easier to lose baby weight later
  • Ease constipation
  • Decrease your risk of preeclampsia

Exercising could also help reduce anxiety symptoms. Make sure to consult your doctor before trying new workouts. Not all exercises are recommended for pregnant patients.

Women with severe anemia, cerclage, preeclampsia, or certain types of heart and lung disease shouldn’t exercise during pregnancy. Pregnancy-safe exercises include walking, modified yoga or pilates, and swimming.

If you’re experiencing mood swings and other hormonal changes, consider working out with a friend or family member. Turning exercise into a social event can benefit your mental wellness. You’ll also have someone with you if you encounter issues. 

Meditation and deep breathing

Meditation is an effective technique for managing anxiety. You can use meditation practices and deep breathing exercises to decrease symptoms of:

  • PTSD
  • Depression
  • Anxiety

These techniques could also help if you experience sleep difficulties, mood swings, or issues concentrating. Regular medication can even alter parts of the brain.  There’s no right way to meditate. Consider downloading an app and exploring different techniques to determine what works for you. Otherwise, start by finding a calming, quiet place where you can rest. Focus on your breathing. Imagine the air travelling down your throat and filling your lungs. Once you pick up a meditation practice, keep with it. Consistency will help you experience results.

Aromatherapy

Certain essential oils and scents could support your anxiety-management efforts. You can inhale different oils by taking a calming bath or using an air diffuser.

Aromatherapy can’t cure any conditions. However, it could provide relief for symptoms like:

  • Morning sickness
  • Muscle soreness
  • Anxiety
  • Headaches

Consider using scents like bergamot and lavender. These scents are pregnancy-safe and ideal for anxiety management.

Not all essential oils are safe to use while pregnant. Make sure to consult your doctor before using new products. Don’t ingest products or rub them onto your skin unless they’ve been approved by your doctor.

Sleep

Try to get seven to nine hours of sleep each night. Otherwise, sleep deprivation can cause:

  • Increased risk of diabetes
  • Mood swings
  • Memory issues
  • Trouble concentrating
  • High blood pressure
  • Increased risk of accidents
  • Increased risk of heart disease
  • Low sex drive
  • Weight gain
  • Weakened immunity

Sleep deprivation can affect your mental wellness and emotional state. You could become more prone to mood swings, anxiety, depression, and other psychological symptoms.

Improved sleep can benefit your mental wellness, including anxiety and depression symptoms. If you’re struggling to sleep, consult your doctor.

Try developing a sleep routine. Go to bed at the same time each night and wake up at the same time each morning.

Adjust your sleep environment for ultimate comfort. For example, you can upgrade your pillows, bedding, and curtains (to block out light). Limit screen time, caffeine, and meals before bed. 

Adjust your diet

Pregnancy demands a lot from your body. Adding nutritious whole foods to your diet and drinking plenty of water are essential for your health and the baby’s.

Choose nutrient-rich foods. Add omega-3 fatty acids to your diet with salmon to support healthy brain function.

A vitamin D deficiency could contribute to your anxiety symptoms. Add vitamin D to your diet with eggs. Vitamin D can protect against drops in dopamine and serotonin (mood-boosting hormones).

Try to consume eight cups of water a day to improve nutrient circulation. Drinking water will also aid digestion and amniotic fluid formation.

Not drinking enough water could increase your risk of anxiety and depression. It can also cause your blood pressure to rise, which could make your anxiety symptoms worse.

Try reducing your intake of caffeine and sugar. Both can trigger stress and anxiety or make your symptoms worse. 

Talk to your doctor about following a balanced diet full of vitamins and minerals. Don’t forget to ask them about prenatal vitamins. Make sure you’re getting the nutrients you and your baby need for proper development. 

Try therapy

Cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) can help you challenge maladaptive thoughts, actions, and emotions. You can pair CBT with anxiety-management strategies like diaphragmatic breathing. 

Consult an anxiety therapist to determine which treatment method works best for you. They can develop a customised treatment plan based on your needs and symptoms.

Massage therapy

Massage therapy can also improve your mental wellness as you experience hormonal changes. In addition to soothing sore muscles, massages can:

  • Ease anxiety symptoms
  • Improved sleep quality
  • Improved sleep length

Look for a specialist who offers prenatal massages. They could help ease your physical pain symptoms and anxiety.

Lean on your support system

Remember, you’re not doing this alone. Lean on your support system when you’re feeling anxious. Turn to your partner, friends, family, and other soon-to-be moms for advice.

Talking to your loved ones will remind you that you’re not alone. You can learn from other moms to discover more anxiety management techniques.

Discover natural anxiety relief during pregnancy

While it’s normal to feel anxious before giving birth, there are options available to help ease your symptoms. Use these methods for natural anxiety relief during pregnancy. Experiment with multiple methods to determine which options work best for easing your anxiety.

With these tips, you can practise self-care for a happier, healthier pregnancy.

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David Radar, a psychology graduate from the University of Hertfordshire, has a keen interest in the fields of mental health, wellness, and lifestyle.

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