MENTAL HEALTH & PREGNANCY…
A couple of months ago, you were thrilled to see that second line on your positive pregnancy test. Pregnancy is a time of great excitement at the same time the to be mother could be experiencing a lot of physical and psychological challenges. You may be concerned at every twist and turn that something might go wrong. And the concern just doesn’t get away. Some degree of worry is natural during pregnancy. After all, the process may be entirely new for you and you are getting slowly adjusted to the new change….. We know from research that physical functioning and emotional wellbeing are compromised during pregnancy. However a mother’s physical and psychological functioning generally improves over the first six months of the baby’s life.
During pregnancy, it is expected that a woman will experience some ‘pregnancy-specific anxieties’ like concerns and fears relating to her pregnancy, childbirth, more so about normal delivery & the health of her baby, her future role of mothering, her baby and so on and so forth. Most of the challenges are in the brain than in the real. However not everything that makes you feel anxious is under your control. Hormonal changes during pregnancy may affect the chemicals in your brain. This can also cause anxiety.
There could be butterflies in the stomach…… as pregnancy itself can incite all sorts of feelings – from feeling overwhelmed, happy and nervous. Pregnancy can signify major emotional changes in mums-to-be, from mood swings to feeling incredibly anxious, which may well elevate women’s stress levels. Some of these feelings and sensations are welcomed, while others are downright uncomfortable and scary. It may even keep you up at night. But if these worries start to interfere with everyday life, you could mention your feelings to your doctor or the inhouse counsellor. Research shows high levels of stress & anxiety in pregnancy can in some cases be detrimental to the health of the baby.
Only if “worrying was caring “ life would have been so simple ! ! !
Predictably, anxiety levels are at their highest in the third trimester due to fears and worries regarding the forthcoming birth. These anxiety levels decrease significantly for the majority of women following a successful birthing experience and healthy baby. Each Trimester come with a different set of challenges.
To remain as stress-free as possible is certainly important during pregnancy.
“It is vital that pregnant women are given adequate support and reassurance from their family, friends and employers, to ensure they have a happy and healthy pregnancy.”
An earlier study, published in January and led by Prof Glover, measured the intelligence of more than 100 babies and toddlers whose mothers had suffered unusually high stress in pregnancy. It found their IQ was generally about 10 points below average, and that many had higher than average levels of anxiety and attention deficit problems.
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