Stress during pregnancy

Stress is a common and ordinary side effect of living. But it is necessary to reduce stress and anxiety levels during pregnancy as much as possible.

Even an uncomplicated pregnancy can become complicated owing to stress during pregnancy.

Mothers get stressed during pregnancy because there are many things to get stressed about! Like the baby’s health and well-being and the hour of delivery course. Women also worry because of the hormonal changes during pregnancy as well as managing the baby after birth. Also, the financial involvement and maintaining the work-life balance, if she is a working mother. She may tense because of her family’s behaviour also.

Stress can be acute or chronic, short term or prolonged, physical or emotional.

The fact about stress is that if it occurs during the prenatal period, it harms the mother and infrequently harms the foetus too.

When a mother is stressed, several biological changes occur, including a rapid elevation of stress, speedy hormonal changes and increased likelihood of intrauterine infection, psychological fear and high level of stress caused fatigue, anxiety disorder, sleepless, poor appetite or overeating, backache and so forth.

Some studies have shown that stress during early pregnancy has a greater risk of miscarriage and birth defects such as cleft lip and facial anomalies.

So, the mother’s physical and mental sickness during pregnancy can affect not only the outcomes of her pregnancy but also the well-being of the child later in life.

When the mother is stressed, the brain secretes a corticotrophin-releasing hormone. This, in turn, triggers the release of glucocorticoids such as cortisol. High cortisol level increases the risk of miscarriage, foetal growth retardation, premature birth and postnatal developmental delays, learning and attention difficulties, hypersensitivity and even anxiety neurosis. If that mental stress during pregnancy were acute, it could even develop into Schizophrenia, while chronic stress can lead to increased cortisol levels which suppress the production of progesterone which is crucial for the maintenance of pregnancy.

Air travel during pregnancy, if frequent, has also become a cause of stress these days. Exposure to cosmic radiation at high altitude and low humidity in the cabin may cause dehydration and consequent other psychic changes among other effects.

The mother’s relationship with her baby starts from the time of conception. If pregnant women are happy or unhappy, so will be the baby.

As such, the best way to avoid stress is to adopt a healthy and balanced lifestyle.

Baby shopping

Many mothers during their pregnancy face extremely stressful circumstances these days. They may be confronted with such unhealthy situations as the breakup of their marriage or it may be physical or emotional abuse open infidelity. Simply disinterested and uninvolved partners who prefer staying out to staying home also annoy their pregnant partners.

Such mothers experience constant stress, loneliness and sometimes clinical depression during pregnancy or even after giving birth to the child.

Stress during pregnancy has also been found to cause asymmetry in the coordination of ears, fingers, feet elbow or other limbs often as a result.

The majority of patients who are psychologically sensitive and psychological consultation, feel embarrassed when asked to consult for therapy.

All of us want happy children. Happy children grow out of happy infants. Happy babies are born to cool mothers. Therefore, Parents, families and friends of expectant mothers should do their best to make an expectant mother jolly and relaxed. If she is depressed, nervous or tense, they must encourage her to seek the help of a psychotherapist.

So, I hope all of you will take care of the mother and baby during pregnancy.

Dr S.k.jha

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