Keep Calm and Carry On: Stress and Pregnancy
Every human carries an invisible backpack that holds their own unique emotional weight. Stress seems to hit the hardest when we are in emotionally and physically fragile states. One of the most fragile body states is pregnancy. Albeit one of the most amazing, beautiful and catalytic experiences for a woman, it can also be stress and worry inducing. This fragility can be found in not only the baby’s need for nurturing, nourishment, support, love and care, but also the mother’s need for all of those things and more. Mothers need mothering too.
From One Mother to Another
I asked my sister to look back to when she was pregnant with my niece and to reflect on what the most stressful part of being pregnant was for her. She relayed many scenarios that ran through her mind at the time, all involving the safety and health of her baby girl. She circled back and said:
“After saying all of this, I think I wanted her so badly that I was just terrified that I might lose her.”
Hearing her fears solidified how important it is for a pregnant woman to feel safe, reassured, comforted, calm, and loved.
What’s in Your Toolbox?
Having supportive tools and practices on hand for when mom needs it most can really provide a sense of calm. Here is a list of some essentials to keep in mind while navigating stress in pregnancy:
Rest – Mothers-to-be need a warm and cozy space to decompress and destress. Give yourself permission to rest more than you perhaps normally would. Take that nap!
Nourishment - Healthy foods and supplements provide the fuel needed to take on the perceived (and unperceived) physical and mental demands of pregnancy and everyday life.
Routine – A daily routine and sleep schedule can help to ensure a mother's adrenal glands are healthy, which contribute to a healthier stress response and cortisol production.
Movement - There are many pregnancy-safe yoga poses that help to soothe tension and stress. Yoga squats help to stretch the hips. Energetically, we hold emotional tension in our hips and poses that stretch the hips helps us release stagnant emotional energy.
Pregnant Mama Safe Herbs
Herbal formulas for pregnancy are an invaluable tool in a mama's health and wellness toolbox. There are many herbs that are safe and helpful for mother and baby in all stages of motherhood and infancy.
- Lemon balm gently coats our nervous system with a soft warm hug. It calms down our stress response and helps to center the mind.
- Milky oat tops
- Oat straw
These are all safe herbs that also support a positive mood and a nourished and calm nervous system.
Be sure to discuss your options with your midwife or birthing practitioner when choosing a regimen for stress release, as they know your unique needs. Pregnancy is a beautiful and delicate process. Give yourself grace and utilize the support that surrounds you.
Rebecca Younger is passionate about herbs and women's health. She aspires to plant seeds of inspiration within her community about plant medicine and healthier ways of life. She studied Herbal Medicine at Herbalism Roots in Denver and is a certified Doula through the Matrona Foundation. She is the customer journey lead at WishGarden Herbs.
For educational purposes only. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease, or sell any product.