Staying calm during the first 12 weeks

Gina's blog post was recently published on the 'Conceive baby' website at https://www.conceivebaby.com.au/staying-calm-first-12-weeks/ 

If you’ve just conceived it’s usually a happy time but may be tinged with feeling anxious about the development of your baby, especially if you’ve taken a while to get here or if you’ve suffered a previous pregnancy loss.  Typically the stress and worry builds up before each scan and then a feeling of relief floods through you at the scan; but often this relief is short lived.  What you can do to take back control, is to to take steps to change the storyline in your head. You may have noticed that the negative story we tell ourselves seem to stick whether it’s based on anything real or not. 

In reality you don’t know the outcome and it’s useless to second guess but the truth is that at this very moment you are pregnant.  Developing a trust in your body (which can sometimes be difficult) that it knows what to do and that the hormones are effortlessly doing just what they should to support the growth of your baby.  I can hear you saying “that’s all very well but how exactly do I do that?” 

How does keeping calm help your baby?

There are plenty of good reasons to support your emotional health during pregnancy and most importantly it’s been shown to be beneficial for the bub.  Short term stress is fine and normal and will be helpful for the the baby to be resilient.  The problem is ongoing stress during pregnancy – if you’re rushing around, feeling overwhelmed and constantly worrying, or experiencing low or anxious moods then this needs attention. 

The stress hormones that course through your blood also cross the placenta and this heightened state of stress can cause change in the baby’s own response to stressors. Worry, anxiety and depression in pregnancy are all risk factors for adverse outcomes including pre-term delivery, lower birth weight, poorer infant development and behavioural and emotional problems in childhood (1).   It can have direct effects on early brain development leading to a delay in cognitive function and dysfunctional response to stress (2).

What can I do to help me stay calm?

This is not said to alarm you but to assure you that you can take more control. The benefits of meditation are now so well recognised for our health and wellbeing showing a positive impact on reducing stress and depression, improving our immune system, better sleep, heart health; in fact it supports a better functioning all round.  Pregnancy is a natural time of higher stress on the body and it makes sense to support yourself with a regular practice. Not only good in the first trimester but meditation is also a great preparation for labour and improved mood during the pregnancy and less risk of postpartum depression.  Allowing some quiet time also gives space for you to connect with your baby as well as feeling more energised and able to cope with everyday challenges. 

You may not be able to change the stressful events in your life but you can change your emotional response to them and the effect they have on your own and your baby’s health.  Put aside some time for yourself each day to release tension and relax your body and you’ll both be glad you did. 

To help women connect with and trust the process of the pregnancy happening within their body Be Fertile have created guided relaxations especially for this often tricky and worrisome first trimester.  These mindfulness meditations guide you with words which is often easier than meditating  in silence when you have a busy mind.  The very act of a daily relaxation activity gives a cumulative benefit – it helps your peace of mind and it helps your baby too.

You can also watch Gina’s Webinar on Stress and Fertility and be sure to register for the Webinar Series.

(1)  Dunkel Schetter, C., Tanner, L  “Anxiety, depression and stress in pregnancy: implications for mothers, children, research and practice” Curr Open Psychiatry 2012 Mar: 25(2),

(2)  FatimaM., Srivastav S., Mondal AC  “Prenatal stress and depression associated neuronal development in neonates”, Int J Dev Neurosci 2017 Apr 4;60

Sending calm and contentment to my baby through the milk was my favourite visual. I think it also increased my milk."

Our breastfeeding track is perfect to help you to relax into the breastfeeding experience. It will enhance bonding with your baby and you will feel more rested, calm and confident. 

Feedback from a happy expert tester, a new mum testing our track for breastfeeding:

"I was really happy with the relaxation. I think it will do wonders for others as well.

The pace was perfect - I personally like a fast ’ish’ speed, as I find my mind wanders, if it’s too slow. I especially liked the great reminders while I was so relaxed – ‘there is nothing else you need to do right now’ (this is something I really struggled with at first with my baby) and smiling - turn corners of mouth up. A great reminder, I do this all the time now! 

Of the reminder regarding prolactin and the calming effects, I've found myself more calm as a person since becoming a mother, and this was good to know and will spur me on to breastfeed for longer.
Sending calm and contentment to my baby through the milk was my favourite visual. I think it also increased my milk.

Thank you again for allowing me the chance to listen.”

If you think this album would be helpful for you, or someone you know, you can find it here

 

 

Nausea album: We’re so excited to release this one to the world!!

Pre-release feedback on our nausea track, from one of our expert testers (a pregnant woman with nausea!)

 "Thanks for the opportunity to give feedback on your track.
I am 11 weeks & 4 days along, with a 2 year old toddler as well. I have been experiencing all day nausea since week 6, which always comes on when I first wake in the morning or stir during the night, as well as at varying points in the day.

I enjoyed this track, having done many guided meditations previously, but none specifically for pregnancy.
I liked the ‘setting the scene’ at the beginning, talking about letting go of guilt about any feelings and just being present.

I really enjoyed the visualisation of cooling breath, which definitely does help me. My nausea is often accompanied by headaches, so cooling is a nice sensation for me to imagine. I loved the flow of the blue breath down and out the feet.

I thought all the parts mentioned to focus on any blockages, were perfect, I wouldn't add or remove any, I enjoyed it. I really liked the talk of feeling supported and connected; that was great and made me feel even more relaxed and centred.

I hope my feedback is useful and thanks for sharing this."