For many years, various doctors have been attempting to document the effects of stress and pregnancy in order to come up with an effective way to help pregnant women relax.
One of the main problems concerning stress and pregnancy is that it is quite difficult exactly how much is too much. Basically, every pregnant woman has a different stress level threshold that makes it quite difficult to arrive at an objective evaluation when stress becomes too much during pregnancy.
However, despite this absence it has been widely concluded that stress and pregnancy don’t mix. So far, there are no helpful benefits that can be derived from stress in pregnant women. Moreover, stress and pregnancy has been identified to result in potentially serious complications like preterm labor for example. There is however other potentially serious health problems that are attributed to stress like depression during pregnancy.
Stress, a Silent Disease
The potential danger associated with stress and pregnancy is that it is quite challenging to predict who is susceptible and who is at highest risk for complications. Because of this, there is a need to educate pregnant women to recognize when they are already under stress. Apparently, even simple things can make a difference when dealing with stress and pregnancy.
It has been previously believed that as long as the baby receives proper nutrition and is not exposed to harmful elements, healthy pregnancy will be achieved. However, since stress has been identified as one of the main causes of death, things have been seen in a differently light.
Some health care professionals now believe that when maternal stress is experienced, the fetus absorbs the same level of stress. This means that it causes huge negative impacts on fetal development.
Essentially, in the context of stress and pregnancy, if the mother experiences stress different biological changes happen. Elevation of the stress hormones as well as increased possibility of intrauterine infection is just some examples.
As a result, the fetus adjusts to the highly stressful environment and becomes a victim of various stress-related pathologies once it has been born. This effect silently happens in the womb that many expectant mothers are not aware of.
Stress Induced Smoking during Pregnancy
Pregnant women deal with stress in different ways. For many who have picked up the habit of smoking prior to pregnancy, smoking is one of the ways they deal with the condition.
Essentially, in the context of stress and pregnancy, smoking can be used to deal with anxiety and depression which are normally experienced by expectant mothers. The problem with smoking during pregnancy is that it heightens the already elevated health risk that the baby is exposed to because of stress.
Generally, when talking about stress and pregnancy, two of the most common related health problems are low birth weight and preterm births. These are the two commonly recognized effects from maternal stress with approximately 10% of pregnant women delivering preterm or before the 37th week.
When you add smoking into the mix, additional health problems like weak lungs and possible damaged brain cells are taken into consideration. Preterm birth alone exposes the baby to complications like developmental delay, chronic lung disease, learning disorders, and even infant mortality.
Some researches reveal that in case these babies make it to adulthood, they become susceptible to chronic health problems like diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure. You can just imagine the potential danger of smoking during pregnancy when taken in the context of stress and pregnancy.
Exercise during Pregnancy Relieves Stress
Taking into consideration the negative impact on the baby in the womb of stress in terms of its neurobehavioral development and temperament, the need to exercise during pregnancy suddenly becomes valuable.
Basically, when dealing with stress and pregnancy, mothers that constantly experience heightened levels of stress (especially during the first trimester) manifest symptoms of irritability and depression during pregnancy.
The depression experienced in relation to stress and pregnancy can also translate to other potential complications for the mother. One example is unhealthy pregnancy weight gain. Although it is expected that pregnant women will gain weight, it should be done in the correct way. Otherwise, aside from making it difficult to lose the excess weight, the mother and baby can also be subjected to serious health risks from the unhealthy weight gain.
In this context while taking stress and pregnancy into consideration, exercise during pregnancy can help address these potentially dangerous conditions. When people exercise endorphins are released in the body resulting in a happier disposition to fight off depression and relieve stress. Moreover, continues exercise during pregnancy and after will also help to shed off the pregnancy weight gain allowing the mother to become healthier after delivery. It must be remembered though that any exercise routine should be approved by a competent medical professional.
Stress and Drinking while Pregnant
It has long been accepted that drinking while pregnant is not healthy. However, many pregnant women resort to drinking due to various reasons like dealing with stress or avoiding heartburn during pregnancy. Unfortunately, the unhealthy impacts of drinking while pregnant get passed onto the fetus which results in serious health problems for the baby.
In the same manner when you consider stress and pregnancy that the stress of the mother is handed down to the fetus in the womb. Basically, the anxiety experience during stressful situations produces chemicals in the body that negatively impacts the health of the baby.
When dealing with stress and pregnancy there is a possibility that the nervous system can stimulate the secretion of norepinephrine and epinephrine which are stress hormones responsible for constricting the blood vessels as well as reduces oxygen supply to the uterus.
Considering stress and drinking while pregnant, both are deadly combinations for the baby. Essentially both are identified with the production of harmful chemicals that can hurt the baby and retard its growth.
Reduced oxygen supply for example negative impacts fetal development that can lead to growth restrictions. This means that there is an increased risk that the baby will be delivered with health problems or defects.
Considering the negative relationship of stress and pregnancy both the mother and baby will not benefit from it. This is why it is extremely important to get proper exercise and a healthy lifestyle when dealing with stress and pregnancy.