Managing Your Stress Levels During the Third Trimester

As I begin to contemplate whether I would like one more baby

I am noticing more and more pregnant women around

How does that happen?

If you start to think about a baby of your own

The world seems to fill up with newborns and bumps

I guess they must always be there

We just do not always see

I am not sure if I want to have another baby

But I know that I would be worried if I did

Worried about the pregnancy

Worried about the birth

Worried about the baby

I would be filled with excitement and joy

But also worry and fear

The Portland Hospital have written a post for this blog

About stress levels during the third trimester of pregnancy

I hope that you will read it

And share with your pregnant friends

Thank you x

Family Photographer Essex and London

Some stress during pregnancy is normal. We can worry about all sorts of things as our bodies change and we realise the responsibility we have to our growing baby. But if stress becomes constant, the effects on you and your baby could be lasting.

When we are in a state of stress your body goes into “fight or flight” mode and we produce the stress hormones. This is a normal response, however too many could alter your bodies stress management system, causing it to overreact and trigger an inflammatory response.

A good guide to managing stress

Don’t be afraid to talk about your stress
Whether you want to talk with your partner, a friend, relative or midwife during your antenatal appointments, it is crucial that you offload. After all, ‘a trouble halved is a trouble shared’. Although the people you talk to may not be in a position to directly relieve your stress, getting things off your chest could be enough.

Get plenty of sleep
A combination of the physical toll on your body and the changing hormone levels in your system has the potential to significantly interrupt your sleeping patterns during pregnancy. Often considered a normal part of pregnancy for many it is worth trying some simple sleep hygiene measures including the cutting out of light in your bedroom, the reduction of background noises, the selection of an appropriate bed and pillows and the setting of a comfortable sleeping temperature. Maintain a regular sleeping pattern throughout the week, eat a nutritious diet and get at least 30 minutes of exercise every day to significantly improve your chances of getting a good night’s sleep.

Acupuncture in pregnancy can also help women sleep better. www.harleystreetacupuncture.co.uk

Get regular exercise
Regular exercise can relax people, as well as lift their moods. Because you’re in your last trimester of pregnancy, limit your exercise to relatively gentle pursuits such as walking and swimming. Antenatal Pilates and yoga are very effective ways to relieve stress in early pregnancy, and they are also good ways to meet other mums-to-be.

Eat well
There is a significant body of evidence to suggest that a healthy, well balanced diet is good for managing stress and moderating moods. In particular, the omega-3 fatty acids that are prevalent in oily fish such as mackerel and salmon can be very effective at lifting your mood.

Tryptophan is another substance that can naturally boost your mood, as it stimulates the production of melatonin and serotonin in the brain. There is a rich supply of tryptophan in chicken, fresh fish and dairy produce, so make sure your diet contains plenty of these foods during your third trimester.

Plan your labour in advance
Learning the simple art of hypnobirthing is known to reduce anxiety and lead to a calm quick and pain less labour and birth. Classes are provided at the Portland hospital by our experienced Midwife/ Childbirth Educator.

When you have attended your birth preparation sessions you can discuss your birth plan with your midwife or consultant. This can be an opportunity to talk about any worries and get clear professional advice to reassure you.

Pregnancy stress management is simply recognising your stressors in your life and actively managing them positively for you and your baby.

Disclaimer: This post is brought to you by The Portland Hospital – the only private hospital in the UK dedicated exclusively to the care of women and children. For more information, please visit – www.theportlandhospital.com

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