You probably already know that taking the time to relax is important to all of us, pregnant or not. When you are pregnant it becomes even more essential, but have you ever thought about why? There are a surprising number of benefits for both you and baby.
1. Helps you to sleep better
Taking time to wind down at the end of the day can help you to drift off more quickly. This is one reason that lots of people choose to practise relaxation techniques, including hypnobirthing, before bed. There are some ideas to help you wind down before bed on the NHS website, or share your other ideas in the comments.
2. Lowers stress hormones in the blood
Using mindfulness and relaxation techniques regularly can lower the amounts of stress hormones in your blood, which helps you to feel more relaxed generally.
3. Lowers blood pressure
Similarly, taking the time to relax regularly can help to lower your blood pressure, which as we all know is a good thing! You could try using relaxation techniques such as calm breathing during your antenatal appointments, to help you to avoid elevated blood pressure readings because of nerves (which is something I have definitely experienced in the past!).
If you would like to learn more about relaxation techniques for pregnancy and birth, take a look at the services I offer here.
4. Helps you to bond with your baby
Any time during your pregnancy that you slow down and rest can help to develop your bond with your baby. You might also notice that your baby is more active when you stop moving (which can be tricky when you’re trying to sleep!). Relaxation time is a great opportunity to tune into what your baby is doing, or even talk to your bump so that your baby can enjoy the sound of your voice.
5. You can think more clearly and make rational decisions
Being able to slow down and relax when you need to can help you to think more rationally, at times when that might be necessary. For example, sometimes during pregnancy and birth choices need to be made about your care, and it may help you (and your birth partner!) to take a moment to do some calm breathing before coming to any decisions.
6. Relaxation is a skill and practising it can help make it second nature
To ensure that your relaxation skills can be called upon when you need them, it is a good idea to practise your relaxation techniques as regularly as possible during your pregnancy. Remember to try them out during more stressful times (for example, at work) as well as when you are at home on an evening! You could get your birth partner involved as well, which could help them to feel more confident about supporting you during your baby’s birth.
So there you have it – plenty of reasons to take time for yourself and relax during your pregnancy! If you’re thinking that you find relaxation difficult (many of us do), consider getting in touch to see if I could help you with a 1:1 hypnobirthing course. Relaxation techniques are one key part of my course, which prepares you and your birth partner for an empowered and positive birth.
I am also now running online pregnancy relaxation classes, click here to find out more.