Being active and managing stress through pregnancy

Being active and managing stress through pregnancy

You can’t always control everything in life; but one thing you can control is your physical wellbeing. Mater Mothers’ Physiotherapy team are here to help you through your pregnancy, and have provided some simple, proactive tips. 

Head out for a walk

Walking has many physical benefits, prevents excessive weight gain and improves psychological wellbeing. Walking for 30 to 40 minutes most days is a good habit to aim for. 

Build your strength

Strengthening your arms, core, and legs throughout your pregnancy will help your body to move well as your body prepares for birth. If you can build your strength now, you’ll be more prepared for looking after a newborn.  Here are some simple exercises to do at home to get you started.

Activate your pelvic floor muscles

Learning how to activate your core and pelvic floor will help to prepare your body for changes throughout pregnancy and recovery after birth. Here are some simple exercises to do at home to activate your pelvic floor while pregnant.

Mindfulness

Being mindful helps to build awareness of your basic bodily functions like breathing, heartrate and muscular systems. We often refer to this as Prepare for BUB: Breathe, Unwind tension, and focus on your Baby. These four steps will help to regulate your physical self and reduce stress hormone levels, settling your nerve and brain reactions. This has the benefit of improving your emotional health, including feelings of anxiety along with improving your physical wellbeing. 

  • Prepare: before you settle into a supported lying or sitting position, do some mobility exercises. Try rolling your shoulders, stretch through your midback, circle your hips and move through your lower back. Now, settle into a comfortable position (add some cushions or pillows for support). Allow your body to become still. Focus your attention inwards. Your shoulders, chest, stomach, back, bottom and legs should all be relaxed. 
  • Breath: Bring your awareness to your breath. Start with a breath in through your nose and out through your mouth. Notice your breath as it enters through your nose and moves all the way down to your belly and back out again. Let everything else move into the background and allow the breath to be your focus.
  • Unwind: Notice your body where it is. The positioning of your body, and how your body is feeling. If you’re feeling any tension anywhere, see if you can allow that to soften. Adjust your body as needed. Breathe into the area of tension and feel the tension release as you breathe out. 
  • Baby: Bring your awareness to your baby. They are feeling you breathe as the belly rises and falls. With curiosity, consider what your baby can feel, hear and sense. They can feel the walls of the uterus and supporting muscles of your stomach holding them snug. Your baby can hear your stomach and bowel gurgling, your breath as it comes in and out, and your heart beating. Focus on the slow, steady rhythm of your heartbeat and just be present with your baby in what they’re doing right now.

Looking for more resources? There are plenty of videos and articles available here, or you can call Mater’s Allied Health team on 07 3163 6000.

 

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For urgent assessment at any stage of your pregnancy, please present to your nearest emergency centre or Mater Mothers’ 24/7 Pregnancy Assessment Centre in South Brisbane.

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