What are the Causes and Effects of Stress During Pregnancy?
Stress is a part of life, and it is not an exception in situations such as pregnancy. Stress occurs especially among pregnant patients, as they go through rapid hormonal fluctuations. Ordinary stress affecting a patient’s everyday life will not harm her baby. However, during the early stages, extreme stress can have a negative impact on the development of the baby’s mental and physical functions.
Effects of Stress during Pregnancy
There are many negative effects of extreme stress during pregnancy. These include:
- Great stress could contribute to having low birth weight babies.
- It can cause premature deliveries.
- Extreme stress during pregnancy also contributes to development of chronic anxiety, increased heart rate, and increased blood pressure and heart disease for the pregnant patient.
- Increased stress during pregnancy could also contribute to the baby’s slow mental health development as well as a possibility of developing behavioral problems for children once they are born.
- Studies show that it can result to babies with ADHD or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, learning problems, and can even lead to schizophrenia later in life for children whose mothers are subjects to extreme stress during pregnancy.
- Other studies suggested that extreme stress could result to a preterm birth when encountered or experienced six months before conception.
With these concepts, it is important for pregnant women to reduce their stress and anxiety levels as much as possible during pregnancy.
What are the Reasons for Stress during Pregnancy?
Determining the causative factors is the first step in knowing how to avoid stress, anxiety, and its harsh effects. Since pregnancy is a critical period for both pregnant patients and their babies, it is important for them to maintain stress-free lives. Common causes of stress for pregnant women include the following:
- Too much work. Since a lot of women are working, keeping up with a full time job during pregnancy is very common which exposes them to a lot of stress.
- Worrying. Pregnant patients worry a lot especially those who have never experienced pregnancy before.
- Financial concerns. Visits to the doctors before giving birth and the expenses after birth are very costly, which would give a patient a lot to think about that can lead to even more stress.
- Taking care of other children. For mothers who have other children, it is very difficult to prepare other children for the delivery of another sibling.
- Taking care of the home.
- Relationships can be affected since pregnant patients are often subjected to mood swings. If people around do not understand these changes, they can do things which can add more stress to the patient.
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