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tips on reducing stress

(25 Posts)
MrsMar Mon 26-Feb-07 18:24:12

Hello all. I wonder if anyone has any good sress reducing tips. I do a really stressful job (live telly, deadlines every few hours, burst of adrenaline every couple of hours) and I'm really worried about the effect all this stress will have on my baby. I try to take deep breaths when I'm really stressed and try to relax, but I've still got terrible butterflies and shakes from all the adrenaline ups and downs. Normally I love all that, but I had read that stress hormones can have a detrimental effect on the baby. I'm currently 10+3.

Any advice greatly received xx

midnightexpress Mon 26-Feb-07 18:56:11

Is there a pregnancy yoga class anywhere near you?

Swizzler Mon 26-Feb-07 19:01:36

Can you ask your boss to cut you some slack at work? You're prob feeling pretty tired and hormonal as well, so rest as much as you can

MrsMar Mon 26-Feb-07 19:18:24

Hi there swizzler, unfortunately it's really difficult to do that due to the unpredictable nature of the job. I am trying to do my best to unwind during meal breaks, but today I've been really jittery.

I like the idea of pregnancy yoga midnightexpress. Does it really help with stress? I used to do some yoga, but mostly for strength building and flexibility, so didn't really register any stress reduction.

MrsMar Mon 26-Feb-07 19:29:19

Of course, none of this has been helped by my line manager telling all and sundry that I'm pregnant, despite the fact that I told her strictly to sort out some rostering problems, and I had told her I hadn't even had a scan yet!!!! ARGH!

forgottenfreetime Mon 26-Feb-07 19:44:20

The pregnancy yoga has a different emphasis than normal yoga. The postures are good for feotal positioning but there is a lot of emphasis of good breathing for labour too. And good breathing is great for stress reduction so wil help you through all of your pregnancy. Despite not being a bit hippyish I have found it great! You could also try hypnosis (for pg or otherwise). The major effect of anxious thinking (stress)is to increase your breathing rate and make each breath more shallow so anything that counteracts this should be helpful to you.

Swizzler Mon 26-Feb-07 20:14:46

And please don't get even more stressed worrying about the effect of stress on the baby (IYSWIM). I think most women who worked while pg will have suffered from stress at some point and our babies are fine. DS is a surprisingly cheerful chap considering I grumbled through my whole pg .

at your manager though - not on before you've had your scan and are happy about telling people. Only a couple of weeks to go tho - I was so much happer after having the scan and seeing that there was a real baby there!

shrub Mon 26-Feb-07 20:39:21

i've been learning meditation for the last few years and can honestly say it's one of the best things i have ever done. if you can, join a meditation class or go on a retreat, but if not the following may help:
1. my teacher taught this breathing technique last week, she called it the 'tranquilising breath'.try for 20 mins am and pm to find a quiet space and sit/lie down and just let yourself get comfortable and 'come down' from the days events for the first couple of mins
2.then slowly focus on the warm air entering the tip of your nostrils, feeling it slowly go down the back of your throat (letting your jaw relax, drop and go soft) suffusing into your lungs and down into your belly, (letting your belly go soft) feel the breath reaching all parts of your body, your baby, your legs, even your eyelashes etc.
3. if your mind wanders back to thoughts then watch the thoughts pass through and gently return to the breath.
when you feel the stress at work try and let yourself have 5 of these breaths, I have found this much harder than i thought as my mind tends to wander off back to the stress
another technique is related to mindfulness in everyday life, just trying to be present and watchful of your thoughts, feelings, sensations during the breathing, again focusing on the warm air entering the tip of your nose and just letting yourself feel, hear and see what is going on in your mind and body. this time the breath is the background rather than the object, after a while you may feel strange as your mind processes the day or memories and there may be constant chatter just watch it and allow it to come and go, it may proliferate and turn to sensation (for example you might start thinking of how someone was treating you that day and if it caused a stressful reaction, your mind may relive the sensation - tightness in the throat, chest, heart racing etc. this time as you are watching those thoughts, note the feelings as they come up so instead of thinking and therefore feeling 'i am angry' note 'anger' as the feeling of tightness starts to grip the throat or chest, observe the feeling 'tightness' really listen gently to your body and the tone of the feeling - is the tightness heavy? is there heat or a coolness to the sensations etc. you will hopefully begin to distance yourself from your emotions and feelings so by taking the 'i' away, you take away the ownership of the feeling (the feeling owning you) and therefore its power. each time a thought or feeling comes up just watch, observe and let yourself return to the breath.
its trying to help you not take everything so personally. i've found when i get the flash points especially when i'm trying to get all of my 3 boys to bed when they are overtired instead of becoming a screaming banshee, i start to reign in the feelings when they come up, even smiling at them like old familiar friends - here comes irritation, here is anger and it just slows everything down and has made me realise (most of the time) that its not them making me annoyed - i'm making myself annoyed, i've made myself feel like that. anyway this may not make any sense at all and may sound all rather strange so i shall sign off with a quote:
"the thought manifests as the word
the word manifests as the deed
the deed develops into habit
and habit hardens into character
so watch the thought and its ways with care
and let it spring from love
born out of concern for all beings"

MrsMar Mon 26-Feb-07 20:42:50

thanks for all those replies... all very helpful. I've suddenly started getting very strong stomach cramps, and I'm terrified I've done something to cause a problem...

midnightexpress Mon 26-Feb-07 20:43:15

I really found yoga helped with stress, yes MrsMar. My job pretty stressful too, and I used to look forward to the weekly class more than I can tell you - just so good to have some head space after a mad week at work. And a room full of pregnant ladies somehow creates a very mellow space to be in for an hour or two.

Swizzler Mon 26-Feb-07 20:44:01

Get to your GP/MW if you're worried. Hope everything is OK

funnypeculiar Mon 26-Feb-07 20:46:08

Preg yoga is FAB MrsMar ... try & find a class that does lots of shrub-style meditation & visualisation. I did 'normal' yoga pre-pg and was very very nervous when I discovered my pg yoga classes were full of chanting & chakras, but after a couple of weeks I LOVED it - and went into labour 4 weeks early having only been to one NCT class and no NHS classes - managed labour fine with breathing until transition, then gas & air. Also did yoga in second pg and that one I managed on breathing only, easily. Of course, that may be co-incidence, but worth a try
If you're in London, I'd really, really recommend appleyoga - she's wonderful!

funnypeculiar Mon 26-Feb-07 20:47:06

Sorry MrsMar - x-posted with your last msg - hope all is ok. If you want some reassurance asap, I'd recommend NHS Direct - really supportive

shrub Mon 26-Feb-07 20:49:28

have you been given a midwife mrsmar? i would try phoning her or out of hours emergency number.
sitting at computer might be the cause!
but better to be safe and check or get your dp to phone
and take a warm bath and allow yourself to stretch out

MrsMar Mon 26-Feb-07 21:47:59

Hello all, sorry about that. I've just spoken to my mum and she's really set me straight. I'm still at work, and I burst in to tears while talking to her, bloomin' hormones!! She told me not to get so worked up about a traineeship that I may lose as a result of the pregnancy. she said I'm luckier than so many people because I've still got a great job even if I don't get the traineeship I want, and anyway, having a baby is so much more fun and important. She's absolutely right of course. Following on from her advice I lay down on my office floor and did some deep breathing for ten mins and the stomach aches have all but gone!!!

the wierd thing is I'm normally such a calm person, I'm convinced the hormones have left me a neurotic wreck! She suggested I do something like relaxation classes or yoga or something too so that's something I'll definitely follow up. I've had a look at the apple yoga place funny peculiar, it looks great, esp as I live in Battersea!! What could be more convenient!?

I don't have a midwife yet shrub but I do know which team of midwives I'm with at the hospital, but now I'm feeling a lot better I feel a bit silly calling them up. I will mention stress to them when I have my booking in appointment, which is due in the next couple of weeks. I wish I could go and have a bath in the meantime, but I'm still at work (nasty late working hours only add to the stress!)

funnypeculiar Mon 26-Feb-07 22:01:12

hormones are powerful things
One peice of advice that helped me in pg ( I also stressed about stres) was that everytime I felt myself worrying about being busy/worried etc, I should take myself off somewhere (in my case, the loo!) and take a few deep breathes and say to myself, r"ight, I've just made myself calmer, and my baby calmer. That is the most important thing right now. Nothing else matters"
Good luck!

shrub Tue 27-Feb-07 09:37:18

good to hear your ok mrsmar
i felt like i went through a complete personality change with all 3 pregnancies. i would be very tearful, jumpy and very vunerable at the slightest thing. i even stopped driving on motorways! but after the birth the feelings disappeared.
look after yourself, the first 3 months can be exhausting, i remember reading that the energy required during this time is the equivalent to climbing a mountain every day and the thing is nobody knows your pregnant.
sleep as much as possible. is there anyway you can talk to your boss about your hours?

ledodgyDave Tue 27-Feb-07 09:41:38

Make sure you get your bp checked as well. Mine was high when I was working in the first part of my first pregnancy and the gp signed me off work for a few weeks because of it which helped as my bp went down and I missed work in the early feeling like rubbish, worrying period. Funnily enough when I stopped work to go on Mat leave my bp was low!

boredwithwaitingforminiMOSSY Tue 27-Feb-07 10:06:17

MrsMar your post could have been written by me at the beginning of this pregnancy. Stressful job, very long hours, incredibly high targets to hit. Oh and a boss who makes Atilla the Hun look "understanding".

I ended up getting signed off work for a week around 14 weeks pg, and taking an extra five days with sickness. That stressed me even more, because after ten days you lose pay if you're sick!

There were a few things that helped.

1) Dh and I sat down and worked out that we could easily live on his salary plus my basic salary, so I didn't need to make commission. That took away the stress of having to hit targets.

2) Playing the pregnancy card. Oh it feels really awful and awkward the first few times. "I didn't hit my targets because I left at six because I wanted to get home because I am tired due to pregnancy". Horrible feeling. But I learned that it's illegal to sack you for anything to do with your pregnancy. So everything was due to pregnancy. (Which to be fair, it was!) It is hard, I know. But it's also the truth.

3) Realising I wasn't coming back here after my maternity leave. I'll get something closer to home. And on fewer than 42 hours a week. (That 42 was reduced from 48 by the way for my last month here... they're very generous... ) Not sure if this matches your situation or not, but you have to remember whatever happens, the pregnancy is more important than your job. You can always get another job if you have to.


Mossy x
PS tomorrow is my last day here!

MrsMar Tue 27-Feb-07 12:59:39

Hello everyone, thanks so much for your kind advice. I had such a terrible day yesterday, my team leader has been really sweet and promised me an easier day today (he doesn't know, but must have seen something in my face as I went home last night!)

I had a long chat with my mum and dh last night, I've really had a good look at priorities, and it's true, while work might be important and fulfulling, ultimately nothing is as important and fulfilling as children. So while I can't really change my hours as we do specific shifts around specific programmes, I can change my attitude to work, I don't have to climb the greasy pole every day.

I blame feminism!! ;) I suppose in my mother I've got a great role model, who's built up a successful business and always been the centre of our family too, so sometimes it's really hard not to put so much pressure on myself! My mum did say that because I was so young, I don't remember, but she was a wreck when I was small and she was juggling work and family life. I'm starting to think getting to work with hair brushed, clothes that match and a scraping of make up is a major achievement!!

Much love and happiness to all xxx

MrsMar Tue 27-Feb-07 18:39:35

oh there is a God!!! I've just been told I can defer my traineeship til next year!!!! All that stress and worry for nothing, now just gotta be able to not stress at work (only kidding!)

Feeling so much more positive today, thanks so much for all your kind replies xxx

boredwithwaitingforminiMOSSY Wed 28-Feb-07 06:46:37

That's great news, now you can just relax and concentrate on growing your baby! Good luck with everything.

ricepudding Wed 28-Feb-07 09:32:29

Good luck with everything, but I just wanted to reassure you that I was massively stressed during my pregnancy and really worried about the effect it would have on the baby, but I have the most chilled out, gentle little boy you could imagine, so please dont worry about that on top of everything else. Enjoy the rest of your pregnancy!

Swizzler Wed 28-Feb-07 12:07:51

Great news about the traineeship. Hope the booking appointment goes well and look after yourself for the rest of the pg

MrsMar Wed 28-Feb-07 17:20:31

Hey ricepudding, bored and Swizzler... thanks for the messages, you're all v. sweet!!! I'm sooo much happier, and I do hope the baby is feeling the happy vibes too!

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