Ten tips to relax in pregnancy

We all dream of floating serenely through pregnancy, channelling a sense of calm for the growing baby inside us. But, often, the reality is somewhat different. Here are ten tips to help you relax in pregnancy.

Pressures at work and home, or worries about the future, on top of coping with health issues, tiredness and sickness can be overwhelming. 1 in 10 women suffer from mental health issues in pregnancy and parenthood. Your mental wellbeing in pregnancy is just as important as your physical health and shouldn’t be ignored. Here are ten ways to help you relax in pregnancy. 

1. Take time out for yourself every day

Do something you enjoy that’s just for you: take a warm bath, chill out to some music, close your eyes, massage your bump – whatever makes you feel peaceful.

2. Talk to someone you trust

Talk about how you’re feeling.

3. Get out and exercise every day 

Exercise releases endorphins that will lift your mood. Did you know that staying active in pregnancy has been shown to reduce stress?

4. Rest when you need to

It’s hard to feel cheerful if you’re exhausted and uncomfortable.

5. Ask for practical help from family or friends

Can they cook you a meal, help with the shopping, look after your children?

6. Be realistic about how much you can do (at work, at home, in your social life)

Say no if you need to.

7. Eat well

Good nutrition will keep you healthy and help your baby grow and develop. Find out more about eating a healthy balanced diet in pregnancy here.

8. Be informed

If something’s worrying you, talk to your midwife or doctor about your options and where you might get support. You can talk to our midwives too! Join our Facebook page or send them an email.

9. Meet other pregnant women or new parents at local groups, activities or on online forum

- ask your midwife or children’s centre what’s available locally; sharing your feelings and experiences will make you realise that you are not the only one feeling this way.

10. Don’t believe the hype

- it may seem like everyone else is happy and coping, but they aren’t. Lots of women feel low in pregnancy or after the birth, but most women who feel down hide it. Find out more about mental wellbeing in pregnancy here.

When to get help

If these tips don’t help you, and you feel low or worried for more than two weeks, it may be something more serious. The good news is that you can get help to feel better. Work out how you’re feeling with our Wellbeing plan, you can download it for free as a PDF here.

Find out more about how to get help here

Other resources

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  1. NHS Choices [accessed 8/5/2015] Talking therapies explainedhttp://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/Pages/Types-of-therapy.aspx#CBT
  2.  http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/cognitive-behavioural-therapy/pages/introduction.aspx
  3. National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. Antenatal and postnatal mental health: clinical and service management guidance, clinical guideline 192. London: NICE, 2014. Available at: http://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/cg192
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Last reviewed on February 1st, 2015. Next review date February 1st, 2018.

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