6 Ways to Shift Your Mood During Pregnancy and Shield Your Baby From Stress
Research has shown that mom’s mood during pregnancy directly influences her baby.
Since mom and baby are one connected system, the hormones secreted in mom’s body (such as cortisol and adrenalin) reach the baby’s body too.
In traditional societies it was common knowledge that a pregnant woman should be treated with the utmost care and patience, so as not to upset her. It was understood that her happiness was important to baby, and that was important to everyone else.
In our times we are less conscious of this responsibility towards a pregnant mom, yet we moms can prepare ourselves to react as best we can, even if our environment is less than ideal.
6 ways to Shift your mood during pregnancy
Moods come and go, and are often the result of either internal, hormonal changes, or external events that influence us. In either case, there are steps we can take to balance ourselves and maintain a calm inner state.
1. Practice Self-Care
Practice as much self-care as possible, especially after stressful situations. If you had an argument, or an especially stressful day, here are some things that can help:
Take deep breaths, placing your hand on your heart and thinking of source/God/the universe guiding you in every moment.
Take a walk with your favorite music or podcast on- or with a friend!
Journal– writing down our feelings and experiences can have an amazingly
calming effect. It also enables us to see through patterns and discover the lessons hidden in every life experience.
Meditate: If you have a meditation practice it’s of course great to go back to it in any situation that get’s your adrenalin levels too high. It’s a great way to shift your mood during pregnancy, because it helps you detach from whatever you are feeling and observe it without judgment. If you have never meditated before, just sitting with your eyes closed, and noticing your breath go up and down, can help you calm your body and quiet your mind.
2. Talk to your baby
Give your baby your loving attention and talk to them about what you are experiencing. If anything negative happened, or if you are feeling bad, tell them that it has nothing to do with them, that it isn’t their fault. They need to know. Tell your baby what you can learn from life challenges, how it makes you wiser, stronger or better.
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3. Improve Your Mindset
Your mindset and your connection with your baby, can act as a buffer between your baby and external pressures.
Even if there are negative events or influences from your environment, if you treat each stimuli as an opportunity for your personal growth (knowing that it all comes from love, as a lesson to help you grow) it can help both you and your baby prosper.
You don’t always need to be “positive”, or erase the negative feelings you feel, but rather accept that everything comes from one “source”/God/a divine plan- and it’s all for happening for your highest good.
When you can treat every good and bad event as an opportunity for growth, you and your baby win.
4. Get Some Space
When you go through a stressful situation, the best thing to do is minimize it as much as possible. Walk away, tell your partner you’ll continue the discussion when you are calmer. Do what you have to, to discontinue stressful conversations, or emotionally charged situations.
Once you have taken some space, take deep breaths and remind yourself that things will look better when you have let some time pass.
Do what you need to calm down and collect yourself.
After some time has passed, decide if you want to go back and solve the situation, or just let it go. If you do go back to an issue with your partner for example, do so in as calm, and respectful manner as possible- emphasizing that connection between you two is the most important goal for baby’s sake.
5. Judgement Detox
If you had an argument or somehow entered a stressful situation you could not avoid, trust that whatever happened, needed to happen. Don’t blame yourself, or feel guilty.
We think that we are “in control”, but we are influenced by so many factors that we are not aware of. In many spiritual traditions, you will find this notion of “surrender”, meaning we need to surrender our sense of controlling our reality.
What it means is that we cannot force reality to be the way we want to, but if we accept what we get as the best possible circumstances for our personal development, we can work through everything that happens to us more easily.
Ultimately, we have no control over the past- but we can influence our future by being in the present moment. Your baby needs you as calm and collected in the now.
6. Get support
Perhaps the most powerful way to get over difficulties, shift your mood and give your baby a positive environment, is by doing so together. There is nothing more powerful than putting yourself in a positive environment to change moods and perspectives. When we are together with others, we literally share the burden, and worries just seem so much smaller. New solutions appear when we put our minds together and oxytocin, the love hormone, is secreted when we bond. Whether it’s friends, family, a therapist or an online community- do what you can to get you out of your own head, and connecting with others!
We moms are the mediator and the buffer between our baby and the external world.
With your loving attention, you can help your baby feel sheltered from the stress and ups and downs of life. If you talk to them, and teach them about the world, and about what you go through together, it will boost their development, and they will thrive.
What helps you overcome stress during pregnancy? Share your thoughts in the comments!
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Author: Tal Mandelbaum
Tal Mandelbaum is a trained social psychologist, a spiritual teacher and a mom of two. She teaches online courses and workshops for spiritual seekers, who want to have a calmer, healthier more consciously connected pregnancy. Follow her on Instagram for more pregnancy insights and inspiration!