Though pregnancy is a blessing for any woman, it brings along a lot of physical and mental changes for the women. Every woman experiences changes in their body during pregnancy. Fatigue, morning sickness, vomiting, weight gain, swollen feet, body ache among others are some common changes every woman experiences during the course of pregnancy.
These changes indeed can add up to their stress and make it difficult for them to even perform their daily activiites. Stress can get difficult to manage during pregnancy but it isn't impossible.
We spoke to Lalchawimawi Sanate, Senior Physiotherapist & Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator, Cloudnine Group of Hospitals, Sahkarnagar, Bengaluru and asked them to share some common reasons and effects of stress during pregnancy on women and the unborn child.
Pregnancy And Stress
The expert shared that identifying the stressor or the cause of stress during pregnancy can help in reducing it. Some common reasons behind stress during pregnancy can be -
- Physical body changes due to pregnancy
- Pregnancy complications during first trimester, need for bed rest during early pregnancy
- Previous miscarriage
- Fear of miscarriage
- Uncomfortable physical changes like vomiting, nausea, mood swings, backache
- Financial stress of raising the child after birth
- Fear of labour and delivery
- Stress related to work and preparing for your maternity leave
- Fear of childbirth
- Previous anxiety or depression issues
- Worry about the baby's wellbeing
Effects Of Stress During Pregnancy On Women And Baby
The expert shared that stress during pregnancy can have unwanted effect on the mother and baby. Maternal stress is associated with fetal low birth weight, preterm birth, high blood pressure.
According to a study, approximately 20 percent of the preterm birth were estimated to be due to maternal stress exposure during pregnancy.
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Simple Tips To Reduce Stress
Workout - Exercising during pregnancy helps in maintaining healthy weight gain, gives you stronger muscles and even makes you feel more confident. When you workout, your mood improves due to the secretion of hormone called Endorphin. It further induces relaxation and makes you sleep better.
Have A Support System -Having a good support system, family, close friends with whom you can share your fear and doubts can help you deal with stress.
Attend Childbirth Education Classes - Childbirth education classes helps women have a confident approach towards pregnancy, childbirth, delivery, new born care.
Try New Hobbies - During your pregnancy, it is a great idea to indulge in a new hobby. You can try sewing, cross-stitch, baking, reading, writing. Thes hobbies will help you distract from your stress and worries.
Prioritise Rest -A lot of women fall asleep during any time of the day during the first trimester but as the pregnancy progresses, most women have issues falling asleep. Sleep and rest as much as you can. Drink a cup of caffeine free tea before going to bed, listen to some soothing music and avoid using any electronic gadgets.
Eat Good -Eating good food will help you feel a lot more better physically and mentally. Have healthy foods and drink plenty of water. Don't forget to consume your prenatal vitamins.
Every pregnancy is different, your symptoms might vary from other pregnant women. Never compare your journey. Before making any big changes in your daily plan, make sure you consult your doctor beforehand to prevent any issues.
We hope this guide helps you have a stress-free, happy pregnancy period. For more such health related stories, stay tuned!