How To Relieve Stress During Pregnancy

by Ann deBruyn

How To Relieve Stress During Pregnancy How To Relieve Stress During Pregnancy

Most moms-to-be experience stress during their pregnancy journey.

The reason that pregnancy can bring on so much stress is that your body is changing daily, making it hard for your brain to react so quickly to the changes.

Your brain loves consistency and efficiency. You know what pregnancy is not? Consistent or efficient.

Pregnancy is all about daily change, which can make it an easy circumstance for your brain to go into the “fight, flight, or freeze” mode that stress brings on.

Added to that are other facts that can increase or decrease pregnancy stress, like your workload, household responsibilities, and how you have responded to stress in the past (your default way of processing and reacting to stress).

When you’re used to having your day-to-day life be one way, throwing in pregnancy to the mix can completely derail that routine (and your brain loves a good routine).

  • Related:Rest On Purpose (podcast)

As someone who recently lived through pregnancy stress in addition to helping so many of my clients with their stress, helping women relieve and manage stress levels during a transition time like pregnancy is a huge part of my mission.

For that reason, I’m sharing steps to take for how to relieve stress during pregnancy and make sure the growing baby, as well as the expectant mom, are safe and comfortable throughout the pregnancy.

Step 1: Give the feeling a label

When you’re feeling the emotion of stress, the first step is to label it.

Say, “this is stress I’m feeling.”

There’s incredible power in naming your emotions, instead of keeping them vague, which is the normal tendency.

A label (or name) gives you authority over the stress. It’s almost diagnostic. So start there. Notice the stress and name it.

Resources:

  • Pursuing Your Passion (podcast)
  • Relationship Stress During Pregnancy (blog post)
  • How To Cope With Negative Thoughts As A Mom (free course)

Step 2: Practice allowing the stress

The next step is to practice allowing the stress.

Close your eyes. Take deep breaths focusing on your breathing. And welcome the stress as if it was your friend.

Stress is an emotion that’s uncomfortable, but it’s just an emotion.

When you resist and react to it, you make it worse.

I like to say, “oh, hi there stress, I see you there. Welcome.”

This moves me from resisting the stress into allowing it.

Resources:

  • How To Become A More Mindful Mom (free course)
  • Teaching Kids About Thoughts And Feelings (podcast)

Step 3: Describe the stress with colorful language

The third step is to describe your stress with really colorful, descriptive language.

Where do you feel it in your body? What color is it? Is it hot or cold?

Answering these questions will help you feel stress and allow it, instead of resisting it and making it worse.

Paying attention to your body is the best way to allow the stress.

Conversely, one of the worst things you can do is stay in your head, blaming your stress on a circumstance outside of you.

Instead, turn the focus inward, and describe the emotion in your body with really descriptive language.

Resources:

  • How To Remain Calm During Pregnancy (blog post)
  • Thursday Inspo (email newsletter)

Step 4: Journal about the stress

The next step is to journal about your stress.

Journal how it felt. Journal about your thoughts. Journal about anything that comes up for you about the experience.

Your mind can run wild when the nervous system is activated, so writing is a great way to get it all out on paper.

There’s something really clarifying about writing that can put your mind at ease. It’s like making space to listen to yourself. To care for yourself. To prioritize yourself.

Even if you only do it for five minutes, journaling can be a powerful way to move through an emotion, like stress.

If you want to have an even easier time journaling, CLICK HERE to grab my 75 Journal Prompts For Moms.

Step 5: Stay out of blame

It can be really tempting to want to blame feeling stress on something outside of you.

The truth is that this isn’t what’s happening—and it’s not going to help you.

Stress comes from what you’re thinking. If you don’t ever realize this and have a coach to show you, your brain will run wild with it.

This is because the default tendency of your brain will be to blame how you’re feeling (stressed) on something outside of you (your circumstances). When you don’t take responsibility for how you feel because you’re unaware of what’s the real cause of the stress (your thoughts), you can never solve it.

To solve the root cause of stress, you have to own your feelings and be willing to explore what’s going on in your mind without blaming your circumstances (something outside of you).

Resources:

  • How To Clear Your Mind Of Negative Thoughts (blog post)
  • Time Management Tips For Busy Moms (free course)
  • Living In The AND (podcast)

Step 6: Start a daily self coaching practice

Finally, starting a daily self coaching practice will help manage stress during your pregnancy.

When you know the cause of your problem (here the stress), you’ll reduce stress without needing to do much more.

Self coaching helps you identify what you’re thinking and shows you how to process your emotions so you have much more control over your everyday life.

This is the work we do inside Grow You, my virtual life coaching program for moms.

I hope you have friends, family members, or a support network to validate how you’re feeling and help you feel good. But when you’re ready to move out of your pain, Grow You is that place. This is where you can turn as a way out of your stress and into a much more peaceful life experience, even during a transitional time, like being pregnant.

  • Related: Curiosity (podcast)

A Final Note!

Stress levels in every woman vary, and yet, having a step by step process like the one I shared above, can help you no matter where you’re starting from.

What you want to avoid is high levels of stress, which can lead to increased blood pressure, and in extreme cases premature births.

After having such a hard time during my first trimester, pregnant women experiencing stress have a special place in my heart that I feel personally called to help.

Getting started with the steps above is an excellent way to begin the process of relieving stress. And when you’re ready, join us inside Grow You where we take all this work to the next level.