Relaxation strategies in pregnancy

Many pregnant women (and their partners) find that using various relaxation techniques can help to reduce levels of stress and maintain a feeling of wellbeing during pregnancy. These techniques can be undertaken for free, at any time and in any quiet space that you have to yourself, making them relatively easy strategies to employ if you are looking to feel more relaxed and less stressed during your pregnancy.

Some recommended techniques that women find effective during pregnancy include:

Guided muscle relaxation

This technique involves tensing and relaxing specific muscle groups around your body. This can help release the muscle tension caused by stress or assist you with sleeping if you are dealing with pregnancy-related insomnia.

Breathing exercises

Becoming aware of your breathing and breathing in and out deeply and evenly can ensure you have the right balance of oxygen and carbon dioxide in your system. This form of controlled breathing not only keeps your mind and body functioning well, but can also lower your blood pressure, promote feelings of calmness and help you to de-stress and relax.

Guided mental imagery

Closing your eyes and imagining that you are in a safe, calm and relaxing place can be an effective way to remove yourself from current stressors in your environment and, as a result, relieve feelings of stress.

There are many apps, websites and podcasts available to help you with these self-help strategies for relaxation. If you do a search online, you will find many options to support you with guided muscle relaxation, breathing exercises and guided mental imagery. Keep in mind though, that some of these digital tools work better for some people than others. So don’t be surprised if it requires some trial and error before you find the one that works best for you.