Relaxation in Pregnancy
There is a new article on the main part of the Pregnancy, Birth and Beyond website about Relaxation During Pregnancy. Have a read through it if you are pregnant - it may help you to reduce stress in pregnancy which can have significant positive health impacts for you and your baby.
Interestingly, the article says that 'eliminating stressful factors, wherever possible, and actively seeking out activities that are relaxing can significantly decrease cortisol levels'. What better excuse than this do you need in pregnancy to remove as much stress as possible from your life and allow you and your baby time each day to relax and begin to bond.
You can start to bond with your baby as soon as you know you are pregnant - thinking about them, playing music to them and responding through touch as your baby develops and grows (and you feel those kicks!).
What do you do to relax in pregnancy?
For me, a nice bubbly bath and a good book always does the trick!
Something that I found very relaxing was listening to my baby's heartbeat towards the end of pregnancy. I purchased a monitor at a maternity store, and would just sit in bed, propped on pillows, and listen to my baby's heartbeat. It was reassuring that things were well, and it helped me to bond with my baby.
Thank you for sharing this Kate. This is interesting as I have heard different opinions on baby heartbeat monitors from mums. Many mums, like yourself, find it reassuring, comforting and even a way to bond with their new baby. However, some mums find it does not help them relax because they constantly feel the pressure to check the baby's heartbeat.
I think it all comes down to knowing what makes you feel relaxed as an individual; after all we are all different. Similarly, when we are in labour we need to find what helps us relax and go with this. What works for one woman (such as light touch massage, or having a shower in early labour) may not work for another woman. We need to have people around us (be they birth partners, family members, doulas, midwives or other medical staff) who present different options to us and then stand back and respect our choices.