Although the nine months of pregnancy is a period that most women hope to experience, there are a myriad of reasons why when the time actually comes, it can be very stressful. Here are some tips to help you refocus away from the aches and the worries, and to transfer some of your pregnancy energy into something positive and beneficial.
o Exercise - While exercise is good for our bodies, the most amazing by- product of it is all those wonderful endorphins that are released in the brain as a result of just a minor workout. These endorphins stimulate happiness and positive feelings and give us further strength and motivation.
o Join a class - any class! Now's the time for you to follow your pursuits - heaven knows you won't have time to follow them later. So if its basket weaving, mosaic frame making or learning a foreign language take the time now to invest in yourself and enjoy every minute!
o Make time for meditation - you don't need to be a Buddha to meditate! Often we get so caught up in our daily routine that one day seems to follow the next without reason or meaning. Try starting your day by closing your eyes and focusing on the blessings that you have in your life. While you are at it, go ahead and ask God, your Higher Power, or Who Ever to continue to bless you with health, wealth, all things good, an easy labor, and a beautiful healthy baby.
o Think about the spiritual aspect of bringing a new person into the world - when you're most caught up in your physical complaints, when you're starting to dread the actual birth, give yourself time to think about the fact that you and your partner have created a new soul, and you are the channel through which it will be coming to this would. If this moves you, or if there is another similar thought that uplifts you then try focus on whenever your mind wanders. Visualize it, and think about using the imagery to help you keep calm while you are in labor.
o Share with a friend - if you have worries about the health of your baby, your parenting abilities, or if you are plagued by horrible dreams (common during pregnancy) know that you are not alone. Don't keep your dark thoughts to yourself - sharing them will help to ease the burden and often just verbalizing your fears helps to melt them down.
o Avoid people who like to tell bad news - if you have friends or family members who like to talk about bad pregnancies and disastrous labors - you do NOT need to listen to them. You can protect yourself from these bearers of bad news. Either avoid them or tell them in a diplomatic but firm way that you are focusing on nice, happy stories during this pregnancy!
o Be kind to yourself - Know your limitations, and give yourself a break when you need it. If it means taking 20 minutes of downtime during your work hours, or telling your husband that you are not up to entertaining this Friday night, or phoning your mother and asking her to look after the kids this afternoon because you need a break - JUST DO IT! There is no need to push yourself beyond your limitations, and you will only reach breakpoint if you do!
o Cranial Sacral Therapy - this is a remarkable treatment which is great for the body, as well as the soul. Find a good Cranial Sacral Therapist who has a healing touch, a listening ear and a caring heart. For more information on the benefits of cranial sacral therapy in pregnancy see http://www.cranio-sacral.co.il/pregnancy.html
o Keep a journal - pregnancy is a trip that you won't experience too many times in life. During this period your interaction both with the world and with the growing life inside you is enhanced. Commit your thoughts, feelings and emotions to writing; one day it will be interesting to come re-visit this special time.
o Enjoy your body - think about the baby that is growing inside your body, look at yourself in the mirror and enjoy watching your bump grow and develop. Don't be shy to place your hands on your tummy when he/she squirms - even in public - as it is most people are admiring your feminine shape!