Stress during pregnancy

Emotional Stress During Pregnancy

What does emotional stress during pregnancy mean for your unborn, and how can you avoid it?

Stress During Pregnancy!

It’s human nature to be stressed whenever we are exposed to something that changes us, either physically or mentally. In the lives of most women, being pregnant is arguably the biggest physical change that she’ll ever face. That being said, experiencing emotional stress during pregnancy is completely normal.

Some say that being stressed – to a certain limit – is good for pregnant women. Stress could enable them to face the challenges that lie ahead, they argue. However, a stress level outside of this safe limit could have severe negative impacts on the health of both mother and baby.

There are plenty of reasons to be stressed during your pregnancy, just pick one

There are certainly reasons enough that could cause you to have stress during pregnancy. Let me name a few:

  • Previous bad experiences with pregnancy
  • The feeling of not having enough strength or resources to face the challenges. Those are two of the major sources of mood swings during early pregnancy, and the ones that I encounter the most.
  • Having an unplanned pregnancy or not being able to deal with the physical changes that come with it.
  • Financial difficulties.
  • A complicated pregnancy.
  • Being a single parent.
  • Being a teenager.
  • Drug and alcohol problems,
  • Or receiving an overdose of advice from other people could also potentially result in emotional stress.

If you don’t have at least one of these stress factors in your life, praise yourselves lucky.

Why you should beware of anger and stress during pregnancy

There are several issues – for yourself and for your baby – that could directly arise from experiencing emotional stress during pregnancy. Experiencing anger during pregnancy and feeling anxious or worried are two of the most common outcomes. You could also experience regular headaches, difficulty sleeping, low-quality sleep, fast breathing, a racing pulse, eating problems, or obsessive thoughts. 

Alongside ‘pregnancy emotions’ having certain negative impacts on your health and overall quality of life, they could also have many short-term and long-term impacts on your baby’s health and wellbeing. Chronic (ongoing) stress during pregnancy could negatively impact the growth of your baby. The length of pregnancy (gestation) could also be impacted by stressful emotions. Your baby may be born earlier than the normal pregnancy period of 9 months. Moreover, too much emotional stress can potentially cause your baby to be too small or underweight at the time of delivery.

After your baby has started seeing the bright colors of life, they might experience focus problems. They could also experience unnecessary fear and may be afraid of many minor things that usually don’t scare the children of this age. Stress during pregnancy could also even cause a plethora of negative effects on the immune system and brain development of your child. Certain physical, mental, and behavioral issues could also result from being abnormally emotional during pregnancy.

A study backs this up

As proven by a team of researchers from the University of Zurich, long-term experiences of emotional stress during pregnancy increase the concentration of stress hormones in the body. An unexpectedly concentrated amount of stress hormones in the body could potentially result in the improper growth and maturation of the organs of the baby. An excessive amount of stress hormones can also result in irritability, crabbing, and unexpected mood swings during early pregnancy. 

However, a short-term phase of emotional stress doesn’t seem to have any such negative effect.

Besides maintaining your physical health and fulfilling your physical needs during pregnancy, it’s also important to maintain your mental health and control your emotional stress to a greater extent. When you’re happy and feel emotionally balanced, you can feast on multiple benefits for both yourself and your baby.

What makes YOU tick?

To control your ‘pregnancy emotions’ and anger during pregnancy, pay attention to the triggers that cause you to be angry and emotional in the first place. Try to stay away from things that make you uncomfortable, stressed, and/or anxious. You could also use some rest and leisure. Don’t push yourself too hard; give yourself some extra time to lay down and relax.

So what can you do?

Keep a regular, healthy diet. If you’re lacking nutrients, you’ll feel physically weaker and may eventually get dominated by your pregnancy stress emotions.

If you feel overwhelmed by the excessive amount of advice you receive from people you don’t trust, stay away from them. You don’t have to take advice from everyone; get counsel from the people who make you feel comfortable and at home. It’s a great idea to get in touch with a certified gym trainer and do some pregnancy-friendly exercises. Yoga, deep breathing, relaxation, and meditation can also help reduce stress levels during pregnancy. Keep yourself engaged in activities that make you happy; read your favorite book or watch your favorite Netflix series. Try to spend more time with the people you love and the people who love you.

Feeling emotional stress during pregnancy is perfectly normal — but don’t let it consume you. Don’t overthink and look at the bright side of what’s coming. 

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