Stress is just part of being an expectant mom. You may be low on energy and wondering how a new baby will change your life. You are probably juggling many tasks and roles at home. It can seem overwhelming at times.
What is stress anyway?
There are major stressors like the birth of your baby, getting fired or changing jobs, getting married, moving, financial crisis, divorce, death. The mental, emotional, and physical effects of a “stressor” (person, place, situation). And smaller stressors like arguments with your partner or having too much to do. Sometimes the smaller stressors can really add up.
Stress affects everyone differently. Some people get headaches or have upset stomach. Others feel anxious and have a racing heart. How does stress affect you? Too much stress can take a toll on your health and well-being and can affect your baby. Here are two assessments that can help you gauge how much stress is impacting your life:
It is important to find ways to deal with stress when it gets to be too much.
Here are some general tips for new moms:
- Schedules are good, but allow yourself flexibility. If you have appointments, give yourself lots of extra time to get there and back.
- Take naps. If you can’t nap, you will still benefit from just laying down with your eyes closed for a few minutes.
- Carve out a little bit of time for yourself each day: even if it’s as mundane as a solo-trip to the grocery store or an extra-long shower. You need it and deserve it.
- If someone offers you help, take it! People really do want to help. It makes them feel good and it helps you.
- Keep in touch with your friends and family, but don’t feel bad about being out of the loop. They understand and will be there when you need them.
- Don’t forget that this time won’t last forever. Your baby will be walking and talking before you know it.
Watch this STRIVING TO QUIT Video for Reducing Stress
Stress management is a very personal thing. Some people deal with their stress by talking and some by just being quiet and reflecting. Some people feel better when they exercise or clean the house, some people just need to sit and relax. Some people like loud music, some like quiet. Take some time to think about what your preferences are. Here are just a few ideas of things you might like to try:
- Yoga: Many people have found yoga to be a wonderful stress reliever.
- Breathing Exercises: can help you get through a really tense situation or a cigarette craving.
- Get Organized: Making lists, having a calendar, or organizing paperwork really reduces stress in the long run.
Your home environment can be a big stressor in your life. If you feel unsafe, unhealthy, or unhappy in your home — it will affect you and your baby.
Financial problems as a new mom can be a huge stressor. The worst thing you can do now is start smoking to deal with your stress, as this is going to make your financial problems worse!
Understanding the cause of your financial problems is crucial. The most common money problem is not having a plan. Click here for some simple tools to help set up a budget on a fixed income.
If you are in bad shape or have issues with credit cards, you may want to consider working with a Consumer Credit Counseling Service. Look for a non-profit with no or low-cost fees.
Save money as a new mom:
How You Can Save Money
|Diapers & Wipes||
Try this tool to calculate how much money you will spend or save the first year!