It is a known fact that stress and emotional turmoil are a part of pregnancy. Mood swings can be attributed to hormones. But let’s face it, while stress is a part of our lives, it has increased exponentially since the time of our parents and grandparents.
The death of a family member or friend, divorce, losing your job, financial problems, health problems, abuse or depression are unusual stressors and are a bit far from everyday life. Undoubtedly, the most common cause of stress lately; Covid-19 pandemic. Covid-19 has definitely increased stress for everyone, especially pregnant and breastfeeding women.
EFFECT OF STRESS ON PREGNANCY
Stress causes the body to be in a constant ‘fight and flight’ state. It causes the release of epinephrine and norepinephrine hormones. This causes chronic headaches, trouble sleeping, or eating disorders. It worsens medical conditions such as gestational diabetes or hypertension. And also cause problems for your baby.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, many pregnant women have a fear of contracting an underlying disease. They are afraid of hospitalization and intensive care. Many suffer from unborn babies, miscarriage, bleeding, premature births, growth-restricted or low-birth-weight babies, and many baseless but completely understandable fears.
PREGNANCY STRESS AFFECTS THE BABY
While some stressors are good for us and keep us on our toes, chronic stress, such as the seemingly endless Covid-19 pandemic, also increases problems for the unborn baby. It is known to cause problems such as premature birth and low birth weight babies.
It is also known that this stress causes mood changes and neurobehavioral development problems in your babies. Some studies have also found a possible relationship between stress in the expectant mother and children with heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, learning difficulties. Some studies have shown that stress factors in the first trimester are particularly harmful and can lead to irritability and depression in children born to these mothers.
Remember that a uterus is a busy place. There are many hormones and chemicals that pass from mother to baby. Stress hormones act on babies, keeping them in a constant fight-or-flight mode. Stressed mothers are more likely to have stressed babies. That is why, despite all our fears, we must try to find ways and means to counter them.
WAYS OF PREGNANCY COMMUNICATIONS WITH EPIDEMIC STRESS
- Eat healthily.
- Take care to exercise regularly.
- Establish an adequate and regular sleep pattern.
- Engage yourself by doing things that calm you down, keep you busy and happy.
- Make time for yoga and meditation.
- Distract yourself from negative influences, such as people who spread fear.
- Don’t watch too much TV or pandemic news. Remember that being knowledgeable is good, but being stressed and fearful is harmful.
- Adhere to Kovid-19 appropriate behaviors such as wearing a mask, maintaining social distancing, avoiding crowded places, hand hygiene and getting the Covid-19 vaccine. These are our best bet today, even against highly mutated forms of the virus.