Pregnancy is an important part of every mother’s life and while it can be a happy and memorable journey, it is indeed an experience of a kind. Many women however suffer from stress, depression, or anxiety like behaviors during and post pregnancy. These are mostly due to the turmoil of hormones that she undergoes to prepare for child bearing and childbirth.
Some things that might contribute to the emotional stress during this period are:
1. Fear of miscarriage or any other pregnancy related complications: the period of pregnancy is long and the anxious wait can sometimes take its toll on the mother to be. Every woman who is about to give birth, always worries about the process going smoothly or if she would be able to deliver a healthy baby. More than often, these fears are genuine and can not be avoided.
Some other disturbing thoughts that women spend a lot of time contemplating during this period are if she would make a good caring mother, if she would be able to provide a healthy, nourishing environment for her child, if she would be able to keep her child away from all the pain and sufferings she might have experienced in her childhood.
2. Unplanned or unwanted pregnancy: if a pregnancy was mistimed or unplanned, even if the parents decide to keep the baby and bring it to life, it might lead to additional emotional burden on the parents, especially the mother. During this time, she not only has to deal with the normal changes that are brought about during pregnancy to her body, but also the factors that might have made the pregnancy to be mistimed. It can cause unnecessary pressure or anxiety for the mother.
3. Lack of emotional or other support system. It is very important to have support of your family and loved ones in this time, in the absence of which, it can be tough for the mother to cope up with the fast progressing pregnancy and what she needs to prepare for.
4. Financial strain or insufficient income: this can be stressful as the mother tries to anticipate the additional expenses and the financial burden, an additional member can bring to the family.
5. Strained or inconsistent relationship with the baby’s father.
Regardless of the reasons, that cause anxiety or stress, it is important for a expectant mother to try to maintain a mentally stable mindset during the pregnancy with the help of family, friends, or even your doctor’s support. Failure to do so, can have direct repercussions on the child’s health and development as well. It has been seen that babies born to mothers subjected to greater amounts of stress, also tend to develop stressful behavior later in their life.
Here are some facts regarding anxiety and pregnancy that may help alleviate this problem.
1. Symptoms get better: over time, most women see a decrease in their anxiety like symptoms as they progress through their pregnancy. While post partum depression does set in again for almost all women to some extent.
2. In some cases, when the mother does require medication to alleviate these symptoms, it is actually a myth that these drugs can be harmful for the baby. Most of these drugs have been tested and are proven to be safe for both baby and the mother if taken under proper supervision by the doctor.
3. Medication actually can do more good than harm because the exposure of extra stress and emotional turmoil creates a more disturbing environment for the development of the baby.
1. Seek medical advice and treatment if you find your symptoms affecting your daily mood or routinue.
2. Try sharing yoru concerns and bonding with your partner and parents. The love and support always helps in understanding and dealing with the stress better.
3. Keep yourself occupied and engage in your favorite hobbies.
4. Talk to more and more people around and share the joy of becoming a parent.
5. Talk about your concerns and stressors, more than often , it will only make you feel better.
6. And last but not the least, take good care of yourself, your diet and your body.