You're not alone. During pregnancy, many women feel overwhelmed at times. Between body changes and friends who are full of advice, pregnancy can be stressful. But don't let people or your pregnancy drive you crazy! You can change things around. After all, "stressed" spelled backwards is desserts! And what are desserts? Something special! Something to enjoy! Something worth waiting for! These same things can also describe pregnancy. So, enjoy your pregnancy and this special time in your life.
Stress shows itself in different ways. Little things can set you off. You may cry easily. You may have more aches, have trouble sleeping or problems eating. Maybe you just don't feel like yourself. How do you know when you are feeling stressed? List how you feel.
What's causing your stress? Do you still have morning sickness? Is it hard
to carry things? Are you always tired? Once you know what makes you tense,
you can start to lower your stress. Ask yourself "what would make things
better?" How could someone treat you special?
List three things that give you stress. Then think of ways to make you feel better. For example:
I am on my feet a lot at work I could ask for rest times or to do another
I'm worried about the baby bills I could ask other moms where to get things at the best price
I don't have time for myself I will only do things that matter and say "no" when I'm tired
This gives me stress This would make it better
Thinking about life after your baby comes can be both exciting and a worry. Any change can be stressful, even happy changes like the birth of a new baby. Instead of getting all worked up before the baby comes, ask for help. Remember the average pregnancy is 40 weeks. You need to take care of yourself every day so you can try to have a full term pregnancy. If you are feeling stressed, talk to someone about your concerns. Let your doctor know how you feel.
When people ask "How can I help?" tell them "Thanks for Asking" and
accept their offers. Your partner, friends and family really want to do things
for you. But don't make them guess what you'd like. Give them ideas about how
they can be part of your pregnancy and be helpful. If you don't, you might
not get what you want. Try it out. Complete this sentence:
"Thank you for asking, I'd really like you to [blank]."
And just like dessert, don't be afraid to ask for seconds!
Stress may cause your baby to be born too soon (before 37 weeks) or too small (less than 5.5 pounds). Premature and low birthweight babies often have serious medical problems and may need expensive and long-term care. This is one reason why it is important to reduce stress during your pregnancy.
Even dads can get stressed over a pregnancy. They don't know all the answers when it comes to babies and how you feel. It's common for men to have questions and concerns about becoming a father. Finding ways for the baby's father to be part of your pregnancy can help both of you.
What would make you happy? Here are 40 ideas from other moms – one for every week of a full-term pregnancy. Plus two more ideas because due dates are not always exact. Circle the ideas that you would like your family and friends to do for you.
List three things someone could do for you to make your pregnancy a little easier. I really would like someone to:
Now share these ideas. Put your list on the refrigerator where people can see it or – better yet – hand out copies. Remember to tell your family and friends how important they are to you and how much of a difference it makes when they help you while you are pregnant AND after the baby is born. Look for more "Thanks For Asking" ideas on www. NCHealthyStart. org. Click on "Pregnancy" then click on "Thanks For Asking!"
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