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5 anxiety reducing tips in pregnancy

by Andrea Stainbrook

It is normal to worry, or feel anxious in pregnancy. There is a lot happening. Your body is changing, as well as your life is changing! So many things to consider and think about. It can easily be overwhelming. For some you may already have a history with anxiety or have other stress factors compounding your feelings during pregnancy. Always be gentle with yourself.

Give a call to that person who will just listen.

Here are our 5 tips to help lessen the anxiety you feel:

  1. Get your feelings out! Talk about it. And talk about it ideally with someone who won’t judge you and will just listen. Our doulas are trained in this and available to their clients. A good friend or family member can be a great listening ear as well. If you have a partner let them hear you. By speaking about your emotions you will begin to process them.
  2. Get moving! Find an exercise or activity that will let your mind wander away from the pressing worries. Exercise is known to be a mood booster overall and hopefully it can help you think more clearly. Finding a local pre-natal yoga class (or other pre-natal centered exercise class) can be a good option as you can meet others that may have similar feelings and have an understanding of what you are going through. Walking and running are good options as well! Get out and smell that fresh air.
  3. Take a birth class! Many times the fear of the unknown is scary. Often it can be the fear of childbirth itself. By learning more about it and what to expect you can reduce some of the anxiety you have surrounding it. We, at Metro Detroit Doula Services, offer birth classes monthly or will even teach you privately in the comfort of your own home. Knowledge is power, and in this case knowing more about it may bring some calm.
  4. Practice your breathing! Focusing on your breathing is a great tool for coping with anxiety as well as great practice for birth. Long slow deep breaths are ideal. Take a long breath in through your nose filling your lungs, then release it long, low, and slow. Repeat, repeat, repeat.
  5. Discuss it with your doctor! It is always a great idea to keep your care provider in the loop with how you are mentally feeling. They will be the best tool to help you come up with tailored ways to address your anxiety, referrals to therapists, as well as know what is available to you if medication is the best path. If you cannot function through your normal daily life or you are having anxiety attacks please reach out to your doctor right away. They will be able to help you navigate your next steps.
A daily yoga practice can incorporate your breathing practice and exercise.

Hopefully you will see some improvement by implementing some of the tips above. It is OK to have worries and stresses. It is normal to need to process your fears. We don’t want those feelings to consume you though. Take care of yourself and give us a call if you need a listening ear!

Check Out These Birth Books

By Amy Hammer

It doesn’t matter how far along you are or how many kids you have.  There is always new information coming out regarding pregnancy, labor help, birth prep – however you want to address it.  If you have found yourself wondering, what do I need to know about labor and delivery?… or what is happening to my body in labor?  There is a resource for you.

Tell your friends about these great birth book finds!

Pregnancy help can be found in all types of media.  You have choices with so many outlets in our digital world like podcasts, websites, etc… but some of you may want to simply hold a book in your hands while you soak in the experiences and knowledge to help you along this far-out journey!

Keep reading for our list of helpful books for birth:

The Birth Partner by Penny Simkin

  • This is a great book for support partners giving guidance on the ins and outs of labor. 
  • With it’s objective, factual approach it sheds light on all sides of birth, examining the risks, benefits, and alternatives – our B.R.A.I.N blog explains this more in depth – and presenting both sides of options including natural and medicinal alike. 
  • It finishes off with sections regarding the postpartum period.

Birthing From Within by Pam England

  • If you like art and lean a bit more toward the holistic or “crunchy” side of life, this book may be just the one for you. 
  • You will find positive birth stories galore! 
  • This book’s approach is about finding strength in birth, viewing birth as a self-discovery, and acceptance of your birth outcome however it needs to unfold. 
  • There is also highlight help for new parent and marriage adjustments after baby arrives.

Mama Natural Week-by-Week Guide to Pregnancy and Childbirth by Genevieve Howland

  • It’s great to see what is happening inward as you grow outward!  As it says in it’s title this is a weekly reference guide with ideas for To-Do Lists as you move along in pregnancy. 
  • Genevieve also touches on how to form your birth-team, giving a shout-out to our certifying and training organization ProDoula
  • She also dives into nourishment, your environment, and a number of newborn topics. 
  • If you haven’t visited her resourceful website, check it out.

Birth Wisdom Yoga Remedies & Journal by Julia Piazza

  • Who doesn’t want to feel as comfortable they can in pregnancy?!  Prenatal yoga is a wonderful way to create some peaceful space for you and baby. 
  • This book is introduced by both a midwife and an obstetrician, is broken into trimesters (including ailments & solutions), and provides you with 30- & 60-minute flows that you can do at home, when you can’t make it out to a class at Earthside Prenatal Yoga with our friend & fellow boss babe, Lori. 
  • We were also delighted to find pelvic health floor information highlighted, a great bonus one of our very own team members, Ashley Gammon would much appreciate.

Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth by Ina May Gaskin

  • With 30+ years of experience, Ina May is extremely well known throughout the natural birth community and is a treasure chest of information with her focus on unmedicated birth. 
  • You will find absolute confidence in the physiological process of birth, a variety of topics including the best ways to work with your doctor, and a collection of positive birth stories throughout.

Natural Hospital Birth by Cynthia Gabriel

  • Many families prefer to be as natural as possible in delivery with an open mind to medical options when necessary. 
  • That means being in a hospital for delivery with all options available while having the support of a provider who views birth the same as you.  We can not stress the importance of this enough – it is more important than the distance to the hospital and the types of tiles on the walls. 
  • This book helps you to be proactive in pregnancy so that you don’t have to be reactive in labor, giving you the best of both worlds.

Dive into some of the best books on birth around!

It’s easy to pick one of these titles up, just throw it in your cart – a little holiday gift for yourself – while you are cruising on Amazon.  Go on!  You deserve it.  There may even be an audio version you can download to listen to while you are driving or getting things done around the house.  However, you do it – enjoy this adventure of growing your family.

Of course, there is a collection of other childbirth books out there.  If you have a favorite that wasn’t listed, we’d love hearing about it – please share it with us in the comments below or reach out to us for more information.

Why Did You Hire a Doula?

As a professional doula and owner of Metro Detroit Doula Services I love hearing all the reasons people decide to hire one.   So I asked around.   These are actual quotes from people who hired doulas.  

 

“Because I was DEATHLY afraid of labor and knew I wouldn’t stand a chance without one.”¬†

Doulas are there to help you process and work on your fear and anxieties regarding pregnancy and childbirth. ¬†We are always available to listen and discuss how you are feeling and we will work together¬†to get you to a place with more confidence. In labor we are there to support you and help you obtain the wishes you have for your birth. ¬†Doulas bring comfort and a calming presence to the experience. ¬†We remind you of what is normal and you don’t have to feel alone in your journey.

 

“I needed support for my VBAC.”¬†

“I hired a doula for both of my c-sections…so thankful I did. ¬†[She was]¬†a calming supportive presence.”

Metro Detroit Doula Services supports all types of births.  Every birth is worthy of a doula.  1st baby, 2nd baby, and more!  We attend VBAC s (Vaginal Birth After Cesarean),  natural births at the hospital, natural births at home with a professional caregiver,  medicated/epidural births, and planned and unplanned cesarean.  We tailor to your needs for your birth journey.   Every birth is truly unique.  We serve them all.

 

“My husband¬†isn’t a birthing professional. I wanted to add a key player to our birthing team basically.”

“Because I wanted and needed an expert, someone there only for me, and someone who knew what I needed before I did. Also to help my husband to help me better.”

Metro Detroit Doula Services firmly believes in becoming a part of your birth team! ¬†We have a non-medical scope of practice. ¬†You chose your care provider for a reason and we will help you work with them to achieve the wishes you hope for. ¬†We also want your partner to be your partner. ¬†Their connection with you is something we can’t and don’t want to replace. ¬†We will help him/her ¬†support you. ¬† With a doula on the team there will always be continuous support for the laboring woman. ¬† This makes it easier for the partner do self-care as well, like going to the bathroom, resting, or eating without feeling like they are abandoning their partner. ¬†We can offer suggestions of techniques to do, positions, or words of encouragement to say. ¬†Birth is a journey for the partner too! ¬†We are also there to help¬†the partner feel safe and comfortable.

 

Laboring Mom with Spouse

Metro Detroit Doula Services will be there to help your partner support you.

 

“I wanted a natural birth and had read the statistics on how helpful a doula can be in achieving that goal.”

There have been many studies and the statistics are in; the presence of a doula reduces the need of interventions. From Evidenced Based Birth, “Overall, women who received continuous support were more likely to have spontaneous vaginal births and less likely to have any pain medication, epidurals, negative feelings about childbirth, vacuum or forceps-assisted births, and C-sections.”

“I wanted someone knowledgeable about birth whose ONLY job was to focus on me.”

That’s right, our job is to offer continuous labor support to you and only you. From the moment you want us to arrive we are there by your side supporting your needs. ¬†Emotionally and physically we are there to be with you. ¬†Listening ears, calming words, and helping hands to assist as you navigate your experience. ¬†Doulas are a positive presence dedicated to only you.

 

“Because I wanted the loving care of a mom without it being my judgmental Mom.”

Metro Detroit Doula Services offers non-judgmental support always.  Feeling heard and respected is of utmost importance to us.  New parents receive advice from all angles.  As your journey unfolds we follow your own path, on your terms, how you want it.   Knowing you have someone there for you without worrying about how they will think of you for your choices is comforting.

No matter what the reason, a Doula’s sole job is to support YOU and YOUR FAMILY. ¬†What will your reason be?