While finding out you're pregnant is exciting news, many expectant mums can experience anxiety about the big change coming up in their lives.
Dr Ellie Rayner, obstetrician, gynaecologist, and the founder of The Maternity Collective, has shared with us her top ways to reduce anxiety when you're expecting.
Getting outdoors and into nature for some fresh air lowers your blood pressure and stress hormones, reduces the chance of preterm birth and of having a baby with a low birth weight.
Exercising regularly reduces your stress and anxiety levels, helps you sleep better, and improves your mood, all of which can have further positive outcomes for both during your pregnancy and after birth.
Talk to someone
Getting any worries or concerns off your chest to either a loved one or your healthcare professional can make a big difference and remind you that you are not alone and that you have support around you.
Regularly undertake self-care
Try and focus on your own wellbeing and be kind to yourself. Pregnancy places huge demands on your body so ensure you make time to do something you enjoy every day.
Access reliable resources
There is a really important distinction between feeling informed and empowered and feeling overwhelmed and therefore anxious. Antenatal courses are fantastic at preparing you for birth without scaring you, whereas the internet and searching online may provide you with incorrect, out-of-date, or biased information that may cause confusion and increased anxiety.
Avoid negative birth stories
Unfortunately, during pregnancy, your friends or family members may choose to share their experiences with you, or you may see or hear things online or in the media which may not always be positive. There are many different reasons why someone may have a negative birth experience or complication during labour or birth, but that doesn’t necessarily mean this will happen to you or your baby, so avoid negative stories that may cause you concern or worry if you can.