Have you ever found yourself feeling super frustrated because you know stress isn't good for your pregnancy and the baby....you're trying everything you can to lower your stress and you just cannot get it to stop?
You've tried exercising, coloring, deep breathing, meditation, yoga, distraction, talking to friends and your partner, journaling, mindfulness apps....everything you can think of.
But you're still tense. You're still anxious. You're still overwhelmed.
You still feel like a rhinosceros is sitting on your chest.
So then you tell yourself, "Just focus on the next milestone. It will get better."
You try to convince yourself that when you hit the second trimester, viability, third trimester, whatever that next moment is....you'll feel better.
And the you cross that milestone and yet nothing feels that different.
You might feel like you can breathe a bit more, but you're still just as tense and just as worried as before.
I hear you. I really do.
Effective stress management during a high-risk pregnancy is possible
The idea that the only way to stress less is to wait it out until your baby comes home is incredibly common (and SO not good for your pregnancy).
But it's not your fault for believing that!
It's hard to know what to do in such a special situation like a high-risk pregnancy, when so many of your stress-relieving tools aren't even doable at this time!
Since it seems like your stress is related to your pregnancy, when the pregnancy is over, the stress will be too, right?
Sorry to burst your bubble, but it's just not true.
Because once the baby is born there's a WHOLE other set of stress that comes with it, including making sure you keep the baby alive! Baby is growing well. Not getting enough sleep. Your own physical and emotional healing.
Plus all of the stress you kept with you during the pregnancy will now be carried over postpartum.
Again, totally not your fault. This happens to SO many women (myself included!!) who go through a high-risk pregnancy.
Turn this around and your stress will plummet
Every woman during a high-risk pregnancy struggles with managing their stress from time to time. Every single one.
Because stress comes from SO many different sources (e.g. pain/discomfort, anxiety, overwhelm, marital difficulties, dehydration, not eating well, low mood, etc.) every single one of us feels stress during a high-risk pregnancy.
That doesn't mean there's anything wrong with you at all.
Even when you think you've got it nailed, you hit a new milestone, have a new diagnosis or experience more pain and your body is under stress again.
The truth is, if you set yourself up properly, lowering stress can be easy, effective and long term...even if you have multiple pregnancy complications.
But you might be saying.."I AM!! I am doing everything I can think of what more is there I can do??"
Shatter the sabotage
No matter how many things you change in your life, how many different strategies you try to manage your stress, you've got to make sure your mind is in the right place.
Because if you try to do anything practical to lower your stress during a high-risk pregnancy and your mind is convinced that there's nothing you can do that will help, you'll sabotage yourself.
Yes, I said the "S" word.
I know it's a hard word to hear but we all do it.
When we believe anything strongly enough, no amount of action will turn that around and we just get in our own way.
So now you might be thinking, "Um Parijat WHY would I get in my own way of getting rid of my stress when all I want is to get rid of my stress?!?!"
Great question and let me clear that again, it's not your fault. We all do this.
Because in all honesty, for a lot of women, feeling scared or stressed, anxious or worried, can feel really comforting.
So many women who are going through a high-risk pregnancy feel like they're on high alert so in case anything happens they feel like they'll be prepared. They feel useful and productive, like they're doing something during a time of helplessness that's actually protecting your baby.
Some other women I have talked to say that they tend to be someone who has struggled with anxiety for much of their life. In that case, high stress feels really familiar. They feel it's more beneficial to keep things the same right now, when so much is at stake, than to try something new and risk things getting worse.
Even though we all know lowering your stress won't be bad for anyone (and in fact could make things so much better in your pregnancy)...making changes might still feel scary.
But here's the thing. These are all self-sabotaging thoughts and behaviors that you can change.
So, before you try any more new stress-relieving strategies, try this:
Start by thinking about (or journaling if you're into it!) why you believe you cannot manage your stress during your pregnancy.
Seriously. List out all of the reasons why your stress is NOT in your control, why nothing you do will ever help.
Some of the reasons you come up with might seem reasonable like, "There's no way to be less stressed when you have a pregnancy complication". Others might be something super silly like, "If I let go of my stress what else will I think about?" (This is something a real client said to me once!)
Doesn't matter what comes up for you, list it out.
What will happen is you'll start to realize which ones are super silly that you can let go of immediately. And then you will get clear on which ones are holding you back and could be sabotaging all of the efforts you're making.
This is such a powerful exercise that's SUPER eye opening because it shows you just how powerful the mind can be at thwarting all of our best intentions!
Your one take-home message
If there's one main message you take away from this post it is this: your mind and your body are deeply interconnected and you need BOTH on the same page in order to start seeing the impact of your stress managing efforts during your pregnancy.
Once you do that, the efforts you're making will work and you'll see some major changes in your pregnancy even if you're going through pregnancy complications!
If you are ready for more and want to know how to use your mind-body connection to help yourself stay pregnant as long as possible (even if you're facing pregnancy complications), I'd love for you to schedule a complimentary consultation.
On that call, I'll walk you through the simple but powerful steps you need to take during your high-risk pregnancy to help you have a healthier high-risk pregnancy.
Schedule your free call here: www.parijatdeshpande.com/apply
Take it one day, one step at a time. You can do this!