The Role Of Maternal Sensitive Interaction Behavior For Infant Stress Regulation
To pacify stressful experiences and to regulate their own affects, infants only have a limited repertoire of self-regulatory behaviors during the first months of life, such as hand-to-mouth-movements and non-nutritive sucking. Therefore, infants depend on the co-regulation of their caregivers, playing an important role in the development of stress regulation in infants . Empirical findings highlight the importance of specific patterns of motherchild interaction for infants affect regulation. For dyadic co-regulation, sensitive reactions of the caregivers are of special importance for the development of affect regulation in the infant as well as for behavioral and physiological reactions . Sensitive and responsive parents are described as paying attention toward the infants signals and reacting promptly and appropriate to them. If the caregiver cannot respond adequately to the childs emotions and interpersonal regulation fails, infants engage in self-directed stress regulation and develop lower tolerance to negative affect and lower stress regulation competencies .
Simple Ways To Control Emotional Stress During Pregnancy
It is normal to feel stressed during pregnancy. After all, it is a life-changing experience that involves changes to your body and emotions. Change by itself causes stress, and when you face an unknown, your mind conjures fears and illogical thoughts, which only intensify the emotion.
One thing that is for certain is there will be changes in every aspect of your life, so the best thing you can do for yourself is accept them, embrace them, and stay calm.
Reducing Stress While You Are Pregnant
Its important to look after your mental wellbeing during pregnancy, just as its important to look after your physical health. When you are feeling well, content and happy, you are better able to manage stress. When your stress is managed, it is not likely to have any serious effects on you or your baby.
To reduce stress, you could try the following:
- Pay attention to the triggers that make you stressed and notice what happens when you feel stressed.
- Try to slow down, rest and dont put too much pressure on yourself.
- Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet to help keep you and your baby healthy.
- Talk to someone you trust about your concerns and how youre feeling.
Physical activity and relaxation can also help to reduce stress:
- Take part in regular exercise, suitable for pregnancy.
- Do yoga, meditation, breathing, or relaxation through classes, or using apps, videos or podcasts.
- Engage in a favourite distraction activity such as reading, watching TV or a hobby.
- Spend time with people who make you feel calm.
You dont need to cope on your own. Try to ask for help when you need it and accept peoples offers to help you.
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What Can Cause Stress In Pregnancy
For some women, finding out that they are pregnant can be a stressful experience in itself. You could feel like you have lost control or dont have enough resources to manage what youll be experiencing. Stress can come from having a pregnancy that is unplanned, or becoming pregnant after previous negative experiences with a pregnancy, birth or motherhood, such as a miscarriage or the death of a baby.
It can be stressful while waiting for the results of your antenatal tests, and dealing with the physical changes of pregnancy or a complicated pregnancy.
The situation at home may cause stress, such as being a single parent or teenager and wondering how you will cope, or experiencing relationship difficulties, which could include family violence.
Pregnancy can lead to practical challenges, such as financial difficulties, moving house and job changes.
Emotional stresses, such as grief, such as a death in the family, past anxiety, depression or other mental illness, can cause more stress during pregnancy, as can drug and alcohol problems.
If more than one of the above are happening to you at the same time, you could experience even more stress.
How To Reduce Stress During Pregnancy Through Exercise
3. Stretch when you get up or have been sitting awhile. It will relax your muscles and make you feel less tense.
4. Even if you go slow when exercising, keep going. Remember that even something as low-impact as walking or swimming helps clear your mind and strengthen your body.
5. Sign up for a prenatal yoga class. A recent study showed that taking yoga class can help lower a mom-to-bes anxiety level.
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How Can You Reduce Stress During Pregnancy
Here are some ways to help you reduce stress:
- Know that the discomforts of pregnancy are only temporary. Ask your provider about how to handle these discomforts.
- Stay healthy and fit. Eat healthy foods, get plenty of sleep and exercise . Exercise can help reduce stress and also helps prevent common pregnancy discomforts.
- Cut back on activities you dont need to do. For example, ask your partner to help with chores around the house.
- Try relaxation activities, like prenatal yoga or meditation. They can help you manage stress and prepare for labor and birth.
- Take a childbirth education class so you know what to expect during pregnancy and when your baby arrives. Practice the breathing and relaxation methods you learn in your class.
- If youre working, plan ahead to help you and your employer get ready for your time away from work. Use any time off you may have to get extra time to relax.
The people around you may help with stress relief too. Here are some ways to reduce stress with the help of others:
Return Stress To Its Rightful Owner
Some of the aggravation you feel is sometimes someone elses problem. Tell your partner that you cant go to every work event or entertain every client with him, tell a coworker to learn the system instead of always asking you, and start saying no to the other people who lean on you. Explain that you really need to take care of yourself for your baby and eliminating stress is a big part. You have more than enough on your plate so dont feel guilty to learn the art of saying no.
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How To Treat Stress Naturally During Pregnancy
- Discover your triggers Is there anything specific that makes you anxious? Pay attention to what is happening when you feel most stressed out.
- Get Some Rest Exhaustion or irregular sleeping habits can lead to increased negative emotions, including stress. Be sure that you are allowing yourself plenty of sleep.
- Eat healthily A well-balanced diet can help reduce stress, as well as keeping you and your baby healthy.
- Exercise Thirty minutes of mild to moderate exercise several days a week is enormously beneficial. It can also help lower cortisol levels, which is the hormone that causes anxiety.
- Meditation Meditating can help clear your mind and lower your stress levels.
- Therapy If your stress levels become unbearable, you may want to seek a therapist, to discuss possible underlying issues beneath your anxiety, as well as healthy ways to cope with your feelings.
Clinical Screening For Affective Symptoms In Pregnancy
Clinical screening for depression or anxiety in prenatal and postpartum healthcare has been widely recommended but is also potentially problematic. The issues concern what screening tools to use what cutoffs to adopt for identifying women at risk the need for expert clinicians to follow up on those women who score above thresholds to make diagnoses and, for those who have established diagnoses, the availability of affordable and efficacious treatments . These issues must be resolved for prenatal clinical screening to be recommended widely. For example, the EPDS, which is a gold standard used widely in clinic settings for depression screening both prepartum and postpartum, actually measures both depressive and anxiety symptoms, which may contribute to confusion about risks . In addition, experts have questioned the validity of a diagnosis of depressive disorders using standard diagnostic criteria for mood disturbance because they include typical somatic symptoms of pregnancy such as fatigue, sleep disturbance, and appetite changes . Also relevant is one recent study reporting that women with both depression and anxiety disorders were at highest risk of LBW, as compared with those with only depressive or anxious symptoms or none . Combinations of symptoms have received very little research attention. Furthermore, little research thus far has examined the feasibility and utility of screening for prenatal stress or pregnancy anxiety.
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An Ounce Of Prevention Is Worth A Pound Of Cure
Managing stress and worry during pregnancy will only help after the baby arrives. Many women have the baby blues after they deliver due to changes in hormones and lifestyle. Preparing for and being realistic about these life changes will assist in keeping you feel grounded after your little one arrives.
Stretch To Feel Better Fast
The hormones that are released when you get stressed can cause your muscles to tense up and tighten. Stretching is a great way to counteract this tightness and relieve stress during pregnancy.If you feel yourself getting anxious or nervous, take a few minutes out of your busy schedule to stretch your neck, your back, your arms, and your legs. Stretch your neck by tilting your head so that your left ear moves toward your left shoulder. Pause when you feel a stretch and hold this position for twenty seconds. Be sure to breathe deeply to help your muscles relax. After twenty seconds, slowly move your head back to its normal position. Then tilt your head to the other side and hold for twenty seconds.
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Effects Of Stress During Pregnancy
While some stress is normal and healthy, too much stress or unchecked stress can affect your health, your pregnancy and even your baby.
For instance, if you have high levels of stress, you may turn to unhealthy coping mechanisms, like drinking alcohol, smoking, drugs or unhealthy eating.
Too much stress can also lead to anxiety and/or depression mental health conditions that could impact your pregnancy and your general well-being.
High levels of stress can also exacerbate any chronic conditions you have, as well as make you more susceptible to illnesses. And if your stress levels remain high for a long time say throughout your pregnancy and beyond it could possibly lead to high blood pressure and heart disease.
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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Wondering How To Manage Stress During Your Pregnancy
Those stressful feelings can be defused with lifestyle and mind-set changes, making your well-being and your babys development a center point of your routine. Growing a child is a full-time job. Letting other things take a lower priority is not only natural and right, but it is a healthy decision within your control.
First, some things to avoid include withdrawing from people, sleeping excessively, and eating empty calories. Inactivity and self-isolation may be signs of the problem developing. Lets look at some of the ways that women are finding time and space to focus on relaxation during pregnancy.
Create New Coping Skills And Habits To Thrive During Pregnancy And Beyond
It can be startling to confront your reality and realize many aspects of your current lifestyle will need to change during and after pregnancy. Ask yourself:
If you need help navigating the choppy waters of change, dont hesitate to talk to a therapist. In fact, many people seek out couples therapy before they have their child to address these sensitive topics.
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Dealing With The Challenges Of Pregnancy
Lets face it: Pregnancy is uncomfortable. But with people on all sides telling you how wonderful it is to be pregnant, you may feel guilty admitting you feel stressed about all the physical changes involved. If you feel this way, youre not alone. Many women admit to feeling deeply ambivalent about the changes in their lives during pregnancy. Often these concerns yield to happiness when the baby arrives, but until then, some women feel like their lives and bodies are suddenly out of their control.
From morning sickness to hemorrhoids, major mood swings, intense fatigue, and dozens of pounds of weight gain, pregnancy changes let you know that youre no longer the boss of your body. And each new symptom may trigger a certain anxiety: Is this normal? Is my baby safe? Will I ever go back to the way I used to be?
Pregnancy also can trigger stressful relationship and family issues. Having a baby brings a third person into your romantic relationshipa third person whose needs take priority over everyone elses. In addition, a new baby invites more frequent visits from family, which may prompt discussions surrounding religion, finances, and even where to live.
Its completely normal to have mixed feelings about these life changes. Many people feel lovingly about a child, but also scared and unhappy about the changes involved. Take heart, thoughthere are ways to make the time during pregnancy easier. Two keys to managing stress and worry during pregnancy are:
What Feelings Can Happen
Mood swings are normal during pregnancy. But if you feel nervous or down all the time, it could be a sign of something deeper going on. Stress over being pregnant, changes in your body during the pregnancy, and everyday worries can take a toll.
Some pregnant women may have depression or anxiety:
- Depression is sadness or feeling down or irritable for weeks or months at a time. Some women may have depression before getting pregnant. But it also can start during pregnancy for a number of reasons for example, if a woman isn’t happy about being pregnant or is dealing with a lot of stress at work or at home.
- Anxiety is a feeling of worry or fear over things that might happen. If you worry a lot anyway, many things can stress you out during pregnancy. You might worry that you won’t be a good mother or that you can’t afford to raise a baby.
Pregnant women may have other mental health issues, such as:
- bipolar disorder
- obsessive-compulsive disorder
- eating disorders
It’s important to treat mental health concerns during pregnancy. Mothers who are depressed, anxious, or have another issue might not get the medical care they need. They might not take care of themselves, or they may use drugs and alcohol during the pregnancy. All of these things can harm a growing baby.
If you have a mental health issue, talk with your doctor so you can get the help you need during and after your pregnancy.
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Talk To Someone You Trust
Feeling as though youre on edge the whole time? Or worried about yours or your babys health? If you feel like theres a problem that needs to be addressed, speak to someone who you know you can rely on. This can be anyone, from your spouse to your parents to your best friends anyone you think can help you out. Even if they arent able to do so directly, they may be able to direct you to someone who can. But keeping mum about something thats troubling you is never the solution!
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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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.
Recommendations To Reduce Stress
A walk and a break from the news can be beneficial in reducing stress, but families also need practical ways to resolve stressors. Healthcare providers, friends, family, and partners of pregnant people all play a role in helping to reduce the stressors experienced in pregnancy.
For the general public, we ask that they check in on pregnant and postpartum family members, friends, and colleagues to see how they are doing, if they need anything, if they want to engage with others safely for social interactions. Suggests Barbosa-Leiker.
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Ways To Destress During A Pregnancy
02/07/2014 by Pregnancy Editors
1. Take a time out Running around from task to task or constantly thinking about whats next isnt a good idea. Every now and then, you need to take a break its good for you and your baby. If youre feeling in over your head at work, use your lunch break to unwind by closing your eyes for a few minutes and focusing on breathing, or go for a walk. If youre at home, spend some time on the couch with your feet up instead of fussing over which chores have to be done. If youre just plain fed up with how your day went, go to bed early and get some rest. If you need to, ask your boss or loved ones for help so you have time to relax.
2. Read a book Dont pick up another baby book, but feel free to get started on that new bestseller youve been meaning to tackle or a novel youve always wanted to read. Losing yourself in a book is a great way to forget about your responsibilities for a while and transport yourself somewhere else. Snuggle up in bed or carve out a nice reading nook for yourself, and be sure to turn your phone and any other distractions off.
7. Take a yoga class Yoga is one of the best ways to destress in general, and its great to engage in during pregnancy. Take a prenatal yoga class to help yourself unwind and maybe even meet other mothers who are going through the same experiences you are. Choose a class that fits easily into your schedule so you dont have to worry about being late or missing it.