What I Thought And Did About Stress During Pregnancy
How satisfying and endearing it is to experience the grace of god by being able to carry a life inside us. From then, we are inclined towards taking care of the baby. Pregnancy is a time of many changes – psychological , physical and emotional.
Apart from welcoming them, they can add stress to our life. Stress during pregnancy can be associated with poor birth outcomes and poor health outcomes for children. Maternal stress occurs when we (expectant mothers) are exposed to stress, caused by stressful life events or hard environment. Maternal stress, depression and anxiety are common during pregnancy. We all experience this at some point or the other during our pregnancy. Because of changes in the immune system or hormones of the expecting mothers (because of stress), the immune functions and brain development of the foetus may be harmed. It may have long term consequences for health and development of the child. The stressful events may include daily hassles, illness, bad relationships, death of a loved one, emotional and financial stress, etc. Thus, mother’s emotional state during pregnancy can affect the development of the unborn baby’s brain and health as a whole.
Stress is common during pregnancy , but too much of stress makes us uncomfortable because of which we face trouble while sleeping, we lose our appetite / we overeat and frequently witness headaches . If our stress reaches high levels , it may cause health problems . The causes of stress during pregnancy may include the following ---
During pregnancy , we may feel nausea , constipation , tiredness , backache , etc. which may result in stress .
The hormonal changes going on inside our body may cause mood swings , because of which we are unable to handle stress .
Our expectations and apprehensions regarding labor , delivery , newborn care and motherhood may make us worry , leading to stress .
Personally sharing, I experienced stress during my pregnancy in extreme levels. However with my husband’s, family’s and friend’s constant help and support, I overcame my stress.
I had to quit my job, immediately after I conceived, because of my health issue. As I was not keeping well from the beginning of my first trimester, I was told to quit job, as continuing with it would have posed danger to my child . Secondly, sitting at home for the whole day made me feel uncomfortable, as I had been working for the past 6 years . It added to my stress level . Thirdly, I was unable to feel my baby and his kicks . I came as a sudden blow to me as I could not feel anything even after the beginning of third trimester. It was disturbing. The ultrasounds were all fine , but practically I was not feeling anything. Lastly, I gained double my body weight suddenly in my eighth month of pregnancy . Before that I had not gained much weight . However, I got swollen hands and feet, because of which I got restricted to bed. It made me restless, as I could not sleep, eat, breathe properly. Thus, doctor advised for C-section delivery as there was some complication in the last ultrasound.
Nevertheless, I had a strong will power to overcome all my stress I did not want to pose any harm to my baby.
I talked to my husband about everything I was going through , about whatever was making me stressed . Mere sharing with him helped me overcome all the situations . He made me realise that all these discomforts and stress were temporary and would soon disappear once our baby arrives. He helped me stay healthy and fit , prioritized my sleep, made me eat healthy food, etc . I used to do exercise regularly to reduce my stress. I even tried meditation for some time but could not continue with it because of the discomfort my body weight was posing. Although I could not do much about going for a C-section delivery, I overcame stress and all complications with flying colours.
Pregnancy itself incites all sorts of feelings in a mum-to-be – feeling overwhelmed, excited, happy, nervous and anxious . Stress poses dangers for the physical and emotional well being of the baby and mother as well. We go through a number of hormonal and chemical changes in our body during pregnancy which effects our own body in all possible ways. Dealing with our body weight gain, heartburn, morning sickness, sleepless nights, increased / decreased appetite and other severe stresses , we manage to protect our baby inside the womb. However, these changes and stress directly effects the life growing inside us. We would never want to pose a danger or threat to our baby’s overall development. To reduce stress in general, we should stay healthy and fit, eat healthy, get sound sleep, exercise, do yoga, meditate, have a good support network of our partner , family and friends. Working on all the above said methods , we can witness wonders happening, as stress levels reduce or even disappear.
Bringing a new person into the world is not an easy task. We get worried about everything, food, water, health and about parenthood too. Stress during pregnancy is normal, but if it remains constant, it may have lasting effects on us and our baby. We need to deal with our stress and move on, to raise our baby in a healthy environment. To have a happy and healthy pregnancy without stress, we require adequate support and love from our partner , family and friends . It is easier said than done, but we should try to remain as stress free as possible during pregnancy.
About Komal Gupta
From a working woman to a full-time mother, I am loving and living every phase of this new life. Leaving job was my decision as I wanted to be with my child during the early stages of his life. I wanted to witness his every action, from first cry to first word. I am happily employed as a full-time mother, whose remunerations are my child's hugs, kisses and laugh.
This is personal experience and point of view of Mrs Komal Gupta as a mother. Happy Motherhood does not take responsibility for the contents and those not necessarily represent point of view of Happy Motherhood.