Stress during pregnancy. Why it is so important to stay calm and how to do it when expecting a baby.
Stress is well-known feeling for most of us on this planet, and there is hardly any one who's never been in the stressful situation. Stress can be a stimulus, that means a type of situations that have an ability to cause an emotional tension and a sense of helplessness. Latter approach treats stress as a physiological or psychological reaction that is triggered by above stimuli. Because may be plenty different causes of stress, throughout centuries we have created an ability to overcome it. Reactions to stressful situations vary from person to person. Some people are more resistant, and others will say that it motivates them. Most of us, however, have difficulties in coping with adversity, and the consequences are, unfortunately, very negative.
Pregnancy is probably one of the most crucial periods in the lifetime and, no doubt, most stressful too. The mental and physical transformation of women intersects with massive changes in lifestyle and career. And everything in few months. It is a huge load for our mind. Luckily, nature equipped us in an impressive ability for dealing with this. We can conquer stress or its causes, but we have no impact on adverse consequences that it brings. And unfortunately, this is the main issue on which we have to concentrate when we carry the child under the heart.
The essential thing we must know is that being pregnant is not equal with being ill. No ladies, no excuses, pregnancy is nor disease or disability. However, you need to slow down and be more courageous. You still have to work, look after your partner and family and take your normal activities. This means that you will be exposed to stress at the same level as before, and given the storm of hormones, you will have a tendency to undergo negative emotions. Right now you are responsible not just for yourself and you must realise how big impact your state of mind has onto foetus, and later your child. You are connected to each other from the first day of your pregnancy to the rest of your life, even when separated. Inside you, the baby is taking nourishment from your body, hears sounds from the environment and reacts to your emotions - exactly feels what you experience. One might ask how it is possible that the negative feelings of the mother affect the unborn child. The reason is actually very straightforward and scientific. Female's body produces many stress hormones (catecholamine, cortisol, corticosteroids, etc.), which in times of disturbing event exceed a certain level and the foetus responds to these changes. Baby absorbs these chemical substances, and it can have a serious side effects. It can impair the function of the brain of the foetus, and after the birth, the baby may have delays in motor development. Newborns may also be malnourished and anoxic. Long-term exposure to stress can end up with miscarriage. In addition to motility problems, there is also a high risk associated with the development of the child. Infants are then more anxious, busy, is harder to calm them down or put to sleep, cry more often than in average. All of the above will contribute to the subsequent years, depending on how you deal with it. It may cause severe difficulties in an early stage of development of your child and provoke changes in personality. Some symptoms of autism can also be associated with the level of stress in the mother during pregnancy. The child is more nervous or closed in itself, is not able to cope with changes and is difficult for him to adapt to new conditions, looks for continuous closeness and is not self-reliant.
What are the ways for overcoming stress while pregnant and not to risk baby’s health?
It’s a lot of ideas and popular methods for stress relief. At this special time, you should take care of yourself and concentrate on positive things around you. Treat yourself with whatever is good and pleasant for you and don’t overanalyse bad experiences or feelings. Take this opportunity and get closer to your partner, as there is nothing more relaxing and calming than intimacy with the one that loves you. Also, honest conversation about problems and concerns will help you both to understand and accept the new circumstances. Massage is always a perfect idea. It will relax your body, and everyone knows that “A sound mind in a sound body”, so the stress hormones immediately will drop down. Another great solution to become emotionally balanced is meditation. It’s nothing major, and it doesn’t have to be related to any spiritual or religious rituals. It’s enough to sit down comfortably or lay down with closed eyes and focus on your breathing counting from 1-10 or backwards. Do not think about anything else, just you, the room and breath. You can be accompanied with some music in a background or sounds of nature. 15 mins of this activity will calm you down and make your mind free from unwanted thoughts and feelings. Ways of coping with stress are unlimited, and this is your decision what you choose and which one works best for you.