The changes that women experience during the gestation period, together with the expectations generated by the birth itself, and the worries about the baby, can cause anxiety or stress to the mother-to-be.
In spite of all these factors, specialists in the area advise staying calm for as long as possible. This is extremely important for the health of the woman and the baby. That’s why here we explain how to relax during pregnancy, and put into practice simple tips for your well-being and that of your child.
What does it mean to relax while you are pregnant?
In some cases, mothers-to-be are unable to relax because they confuse relaxation with rest. And although rest is also advisable, it does not imply that you will be able to relax.
When we talk about relaxation we mean that you become aware of the state of your mind and body, what you feel, your breathing, emotions and thoughts. In short, it is about connecting with your inner self.
All this can be achieved by performing some simple, home-made exercises.
Benefits of relaxation exercises for pregnant women
There are several benefits you can enjoy by properly performing relaxation exercises during pregnancy. We detail some of the main advantages of these physical practices:
- They help to minimize stress and anxiety.
- They contribute to relieve headache and back pain.
- They facilitate the conciliation of sleep.
- They reduce heart rate and blood pressure.
- They regulate the respiratory rhythm.
- They act as an effective muscle relaxant in pregnancy.
- They help reduce cholesterol and fat levels in the blood.
- They optimize oxygen supply to your body’s cells, increasing vasodilation.
- They contribute to boosting the immune system.
Relaxation exercises to practice during pregnancy
There are several alternatives you can choose from to relax while you are pregnant. You can choose the option that best suits your needs and preferences.
Some of the exercises are yoga, swimming, deep breathing, or walking.
On the other hand, it is always advisable to consult your family doctor before practicing any of these exercises.
Relax your back
This is an extremely simple exercise, it consists of doing the posture known as bridge.
Lie on your back, place your feet firmly on the floor and place your arms alongside your body. Next, take a breath of air and when you expel it, press a little on your feet and push yourself slowly to separate your hips from the floor.
Breathe again to gently descend and place the sacral area on the floor. You can repeat the movement several times.
Exercise to relax the pelvis
Lie down on the floor, and focus your mind on the pelvic area.
Try to execute relaxation and tension movements of the pelvis, while breathing rhythmically from the diaphragm.
How to relax the uterus in pregnancy
A very simple practice consists of gently massaging your abdomen with the use of your fingers. This is a good answer to the question of how to relax the belly in pregnancy.
You can apply almond oil to the sides of your abdomen to enhance the experience. In case you feel any discomfort, consult your physician immediately.
Yoga is one of the best ways to relax during pregnancy.
Its practice is safe for pregnant women, and it also helps to exercise your body and relax. There is a wide variety of prenatal movements, which you can perform twice a week, when waking up or before going to sleep.
During the first and third trimester there are some exercises that should be avoided, so if you have a yoga teacher let them know that you are pregnant and how far along you are, so they can tell you a variation suitable for pregnant women in those exercises that are best avoided. If you do yoga at home, look for a channel from a certified yoga teacher with a specific routine for pregnant women.
The technique known as progressive muscle relaxation aims to eliminate all the tension accumulated in the muscles. Although it may take you a little time to fully master this practice, it is very positive.
To take advantage of this alternative that works as a perfect muscle relaxant in pregnancy, you must be in a clear and calm environment.
Next, you should lie down comfortably and start with your hands to tense and relax each muscle group. You can continue with the arms, shoulders and continue until you cover your whole body.
In addition to contributing to relaxation, this option provides you with a series of additional health benefits. It helps to minimize heart rate, blood pressure and respiratory rate, and helps to control emotions.
Also, if you want to know how to relax to sleep in pregnancy, deep breathing quickly induces sleep. You can practice it at any time of the day and it is very easy to do.
Sit and lie down comfortably, breathe softly and deeply. Place one hand on your chest and one on your abdomen, and feel your whole body move as your lungs are charged with air.
When you can no longer inhale any more air, hold your breath for a few seconds and exhale slowly. Repeat until you feel relaxed.
The purpose of meditation is to generate a full sense of calm while clearing your mind of all thoughts and ideas.
One of the best ways to clear your mind is to focus completely on your breathing. There are also some mechanisms that use guided images or visualizations to optimize the process.
You can also become aware of the environment around you, focusing your attention on three sounds and three objects around you, then choose a sound and an image and you can at some point close your eyes and remember the object (color, texture, shape, size) while listening to the sound. This exercise allows you to concentrate your mind on the present and leave aside the thousands of thoughts that we usually have every second, giving you a sense of well-being, calm and bringing you to the present.
Take a pleasant walk
Go for a walk for a few minutes and enjoy everything around you. It is best to do your tour in an open space, full of nature. A little air and sunshine will recharge your energy.
Additionally, a walk that is to your liking can change your mood. Visit a park, walk on the sandy beach, have a picnic, etc.
While doing so, try to focus on what you smell, feel, in the air, the colors, become aware of the place where you are. If you like to go barefoot on grass or sand, feel your feet.
Please remember to wear sunscreen and a hat, as well as to hydrate sufficiently and take breaks if needed. Listen to your body.
Enjoy a relaxing bath
One of the best options you can select to relax during pregnancy is to enjoy a hot bath.
Prepare the shower or bathtub with water at a suitable temperature, and let the water relax both your body and your mind. If possible, use a soap with a pleasant scent to enhance the moment.
What to take to relax during pregnancy?
In addition to relaxing exercises, you can also opt for drinks that bring you to a relaxed and pleasant state.
In this case, it is best to use natural beverages, such as herbal teas. Among the most common are chamomile, lime blossom or valerian, to mention a few.