How Does Stress Cause Pregnancy Problems
We dont completely understand the effects of stress on pregnancy. But certain stress-related hormones may play a role in causing certain pregnancy complications. Serious or long-lasting stress may affect your immune system, which protects you from infection. This can increase the chances of getting an infection of the uterus. This type of infection can cause premature birth.
Other ways stress can cause pregnancy problems include:
- Normal pregnancy discomforts, like trouble sleeping, body aches and morning sickness may feel even worse with stress
- You may have problems eating, like not eating enough or eating too much. This can make you underweight or cause you to gain too much weight during pregnancy. It also may increase your risk of having gestational diabetes and preterm labor.
- Stress may lead to high blood pressure during pregnancy. This puts you at risk of a serious high blood pressure condition called preeclampsia, premature birth and having a low-birthweight infant.
- Stress also may affect how you respond to certain situations. Some women deal with stress by smoking cigarettes, drinking alcohol or taking street drugs, which can lead to serious health problems in you and you baby.
Many women worry that stress may lead to miscarriage, the death of a baby before 20 weeks of pregnancy. While extra stress isn’t good for your overall health, there’s no evidence that stress causes miscarriage.
Spend A Day With Friends
When it comes to dealing with stress, one thing is certain – if youre keeping what is stressing you to yourself there is little chance of changing things. If you stay trapped in anxious thoughts about struggling to find new ways to earn money or worrying about being the perfect mom, you’ll only end up being more stressed.
Sharing your worries with close friends helps because a good friend can understand you, offer you advice, and most importantly give you a different perspective. Hearing how your friend might deal with what you are facing can help you see that the stress is manageable and that you too have the capacity to overcome it. Enjoying a day out with your friends and doing things you enjoy will remind you of who you really are and make it easier for you to cope with the pregnancy challenges that lie ahead.
Effects Of Stress On Baby During Pregnancy
Do not get too anxious or paranoid even if you are stressed you will go on to have a healthy baby. It is perfectly normal to be stressed about the changes that are happening in your life.
However, if the stress is chronic and for long duration, you should seek help. Unremitting, high levels of stress can affect the baby, given that, cortisol can cross over the placenta and affect the babys emotional development. Chronic stress can cause subtle changes in the brain development that could result in behavioral issues as the baby grows.
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Pregnant Women Are Urged To Avoid Stress What Happens When A Pandemic Makes That Impossible
A few days before schools and offices started to shut down around New York City in March, I developed a cough. Then came low-grade flu-like symptoms, clicking sounds in my lungs and total loss of taste and smell. I spent hours on the phone that week with doctors and nurses, all of whom told me to stay home, isolate and avoid emergency rooms if possible. I recovered without getting tested for the novel coronavirus.
My main concern while sick was my pregnancy. Despite the Centers for Disease Control and Preventions guidance that transmission of the coronavirus during pregnancy is unlikely, I knew there were still many unknowns. As my stress mounted about not being able to access testing or know whether the baby was okay, I also became stressed about being stressed.
Even in the best of times, pregnant women are urged to stay calm for the sake of their babies. But what happens when a global pandemic breaks out and avoiding stress is no longer possible?
The uncertainty of this moment is affecting everyone, but pregnant women are facing some unique obstacles. Becky Kuperman, who is expecting her third child in mid-June and will deliver at a hospital in New York City, the nations epicenter for the coronavirus, has seen her entire birth plan upended by the crisis.
Its definitely a lot of anxiety, Kuperman said. In the beginning I was very, very anxious about everything. As the days and weeks go on, its become the new normal.
Know What To Expect With Labor And Birth
Nervous, scared, anxious, overwhelmedthese are all normal feelings pregnant women feel. Knowing what happens during labor and delivery, though, like what you should expect with your body and the baby as well as your before and after care options, can help you feel more confident and at ease as you prepare to give birth. So read articles and books about labor and delivery. Attend birthing and parenting classes. Journal about your intuition to better trust your instincts once baby comes. Ask your OB or midwife questions. Write out a birth plan. Take a tour of the hospital or birth center youll be giving birth in.
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Keep In Mind That Communication Is Key
Since this event is life-changing and can have a drastic impact on your relationship with your partner, it is essential that you keep the doors of communication wide open. If you and your partner do not talk or communicate and keep your feelings and problems to yourself, then your relationship is bound to be stressful.
To deal with relationship stress during pregnancy, it is crucial that you communicate, tell your partner how you are feeling and what you want and your partner. In addition, you should focus on your feelings and be considerate of your situation.
Now, you have to understand there are hardly any scripted guidelines on how to avoid stress during pregnancy. It depends entirely on the partners to find out how to deal with pregnancy stress.
Here, communication is the only key to address relationship problems while pregnant to smartly handle relationship stress during pregnancy.
Attend A Labor And Delivery Or Newborn Preparation Class
For some women, stress during pregnancy is caused by the unknowns of the future. Pregnant women may feel overwhelmed thinking about labor and delivery or caring for a newborn. To help ease your concerns, consider attending a class that is designed to help you prepare for birth or motherhood. Women who attend birthing classes report feeling more positive and confident about labor and delivery.13
Many hospitals, birthing centers, and local midwives and doulas host classes for this purpose. If there are no classes in your area, you may be able to find one online. Attending one of these classes will give you an opportunity to learn more about what to expect and answer any questions that you may have. This can help you feel more certain about the future and confident moving forward in your pregnancy.
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Symptoms Of Anxiety During Pregnancy
Some degree of worry is natural during pregnancy. After all, the process may be entirely new for you. You may have faced situations in the past, like miscarriage, that give you reason for concern. But if these worries start to interfere with everyday life, you may have anxiety.
- feeling an uncontrollable sense of anxiousness
- worrying excessively about things, especially your health or baby
- inability to concentrate
- having tense muscles
- sleeping poorly
Occasionally, bouts of anxiety may lead to panic attacks. These attacks may start very suddenly with the symptoms above, and progress. During a panic attack, your symptoms may be very physical in nature, which can make the experience that much worse.
Symptoms of a panic attack include:
- feeling like you cannot breathe
- feeling like youre going crazy
- feeling like something awful may happen
While anyone can develop anxiety during pregnancy, there are certain risk factors that may contribute, including:
- family history of anxiety or panic attacks
- personal history of anxiety, panic attacks, or depression
- previous trauma
- use of certain illegal drugs
- excess stress in everyday life
Mild cases of anxiety usually dont require any specific treatment, though its a good idea to mention your feelings to your doctor.
In severe cases, your doctor may recommend medication after weighing the benefits and risks.
Sip On Peppermint Tea
Peppermint leaves contain menthol which acts as a muscle relaxant and sedative. Peppermint also helps remove gas from your stomach and resolve stomach issues like nausea and vomiting. Sipping on peppermint tea is a healthy, all-natural way to relieve stress during pregnancy. Keep some peppermint tea bags in your purse or briefcase so you can fight stress and tummy trouble wherever you are. Peppermint tea is naturally caffeine-free so you can sip on it all day at work or while lounging at home.
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Breathe Before You Speak
It is no surprise that pregnancy hormones can make you moody and cranky and emotional, so when you feel a mood swing taking place, stop, breathe and ask yourself Is this really who I am?. This simple trick can prevent a lot of arguments and issues and can help you deal with stress even before it starts.
Handling Stress During Pregnancy
Hundreds of years ago, it was considered to be just an old wives tale that pregnant women should stay calm or it would harm both them and their unborn child.
However, in the black community, grandma and midwives truly understood how prolonged stress could complicate a pregnancy.
They would have conniption fits when a pregnant woman became stressed out for some reason or so. She would be warned about calming down or she could jeopardize the pregnancy.
Now doctors understand what grandmothers did back then. That stress did affect both mother and the unborn. And as we all know now, sometimes proves to be fatal for both mother and child.
Even a little stress is unhealthy.
Black women are two to three times more likely to die of pregnancy-related complications than white women, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention .
Cited: website: what to expect
You know the usual stress that women are under on any giving day. But being pregnant intensifies the stress because now you have another human being under your ribcage thats also feeling the same emotional roller coaster.
And the complications for the fetus could be dire:
Low birth weight
Low brain functions
Looking for ways to deal with stress which benefits benefit the pregnant woman and her unborn child?
Heres a few things to think about:
You can talk to other mothers about how they had dealt with stress when they were expecting.
Let go of issues or concerns that you dont have any control of.
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The Pain Of Stress During Pregnancy
Stress during pregnancy is unavoidable, but there are ways to manage it. Knowing some ways to manage your stress during pregnancy can be helpful.
With so many hormonal changes occurring within your body during pregnancy, many upheavals follow these changes. Such problems include the stress that comes along with pregnancy especially those hormones that can cause anxiety and nervousness. No wonder many expectant mothers often feel a bit under the weather.
Pregnancy is a terrific time, but it is not something to be taken lightly. Knowing that stress during pregnancy is part of the package, but not something to be concerned about, there are some simple ways to help you manage it so that you can give yourself the support needed to care for your newborn and the new baby arrives.
Some women experience stress symptoms straight through their pregnancy. Other women will experience it only when they go into labour. Whatever your symptoms or their frequency and severity, knowing how to handle them can help you sleep better and enjoy your experience of being pregnant.
Can Stress During Pregnancy Hurt My Baby
Regular, everyday stress during pregnancy, such as stressing to make a work deadline or finish the babys nursery, wont hurt your baby.
But extreme , chronic and long-term stress can, in some cases, increase the risk of:
- Developmental delays in the baby
Babies born too soon or too small can face more complications than full-term, normal-weight newborns.
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Be Patient With Yourself
Growing a baby is exhausting work. You arent being lazy you are physically experiencing something that is preventing or making it difficult for you to accomplish all the tasks that you normally would.
Give yourself some grace. It may take you a little longer before you have the energy to tackle the laundry pile, and that’s OK. In the meantime, be sure to ask your partner or another support person for extra help.
Causes Of Anxiety During Pregnancy
Some women experience a decrease in their symptoms during pregnancy, but your anxiety may get worse. After all, not everything that makes you feel anxious is under your control. Hormonal changes during pregnancy may affect the chemicals in your brain. This can cause anxiety.
Pregnancy is also a time of tremendous change. Some of these feelings and sensations are welcomed, while others are downright uncomfortable and scary. You may even have complications or other issues that arise that keep you up at night.
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Talk To Your Baby Bump
It is believed that from about 23 weeks of development, your baby can hear your voice.3 Take time out, when you feel stress or worry, to rub your belly and talk to your child calmly. Singing and reading can help you take a mental break yourself and, as you comfort your child, you can take comfort in a private moment of self-awareness and reflection.
How To Deal With Stressful Relationship During Pregnancy
Pregnancy is a glowing phase for many couples alike. This is the time that couples bond and come closer to each other. It is the time when two people realize that they will be bringing and raising another human life, and the woes of pregnancy and the expectations that come with a baby are bound to change the relationship dynamics.
The changes in your body, the obvious curves, your bulging tummy, and the raging hormones that you might experience in your body have the power to throw you off balance when it comes to nurturing your relationship during pregnancy with your partner. At one point you and your partner may feel connected, and in another moment you may feel emotionally exhausted and isolated.
If you and your husband cannot agree on even one single thing and are constantly fighting, then dont worry because these fights are very common. Having a baby is a life-changing event and can drastically change a couples relationship during pregnancy.
At the same time, a supportive relationship matters during pregnancy. The pregnancy hormones can impact would-be mothers differently. Some might experience a mix of high and low emotions while a few others might feel vulnerable or anxious.
Such stress during pregnancy can affect the otherwise healthy and hearty relationship between the couples.
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Taking Care Of Your Mental Health During Pregnancy
Pregnancy brings a mix of feelings, and not all of them are good. If you’re feeling worried, you’re not alone. Worry is common, especially during a woman’s first pregnancy or an unplanned one. It can be even harder if you’re dealing with depression or anxiety.
For your health and your baby’s, take care of yourself as much as you can. Be sure to eat well, exercise, get enough sleep, and take your prenatal vitamins.
If you’re feeling worried, sad, or nervous, talk to someone about it and know when to reach out for help.
Natural Ways To Deal With Emotional Stress While Pregnant
Some degree of anxiety and stress during pregnancy is fairly normal, just as it is during other times of life. However, if the stress is continuous and unrelenting, its effects on you and your baby could be lasting.
When you are under stress, your body goes into a fight / flight mode, triggering a surge of cortisol and other stress hormones.
Inflammation has been associated with poor pregnancy health and developmental problems in babies. Chronic stressors and poor coping skills have been linked to low birth weight and premature delivery.
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Dealing With Stress At Work During Pregnancy
Trying to maintain your career, earn enough so you can support your baby, and ensure you have a job to return to after your maternity leave all while youre dealing with pregnancy is clearly a major source of stress.
Some workplaces are more supportive of pregnant women than others, and work adjustments, such as cutting hours, different schedules, or different workloads can be arranged.
The reality is that many managers or even your co-workers wont be able to fully understand why your productivity is lower if you are facing constant morning sickness or you merely have to do more pre-natal check-ups if your pregnancy is at risk.
Since your rights as a pregnant worker are protected, there are safety procedures in place and risk assessments you should call upon.
It is entirely reasonable that you want to continue earning up until your maternity leave, but if you feel that work pressure is making things worse for you, then you should consider your health and your babys health first, and take the unpaid leave.
Tips For Reducing Stress During Pregnancy
If you are pregnant, it is likely that you will experience stress at some point. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to help yourself better cope with stress when it does come up. Taking care of your body and mind and seeking support and education are helpful ways that you can combat the impact of stress during your pregnancy.
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