How Does High Stress In Pregnant Women Affect The Baby? Doctor Lists Tips To Manage Stress

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Stress In Pregnant Women: Experiencing too much stress during pregnancy can lead to trouble in sleeping, eating, headaches, loss of appetite or even tendency to overeat and have adverse affects on the unborn baby.

Pregnancy is one of the most wonderful times in a woman’s life but comes along with certain challenges. A woman during pregnancy goes through a number of changes within her body that may affect her overall mood and life. From gaining weight, and increased stress, to an increase in appetite, nausea and fatigue, pregnancy doesn’t come easy.

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), 1 in 5 women will have an anxiety disorder in pregnancy and there is evidence that high exposure to stress in pregnancy is more widely available, at least for certain subgroups of women. Dr Anusha Rao P, Consultant Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Yashoda Hospitals Hyderabad explained how stress in pregnant women can affect the unborn baby and how expecting mothers can manage their stress.

Pregnant Women And Stress

According to Dr Rao, experiencing high levels of stress during pregnancy can have various effects on both the expectant mother and the developing foetus. Research suggests that maternal stress may contribute to preterm birth, low birth weight, and developmental issues.

How Stress Affects An Unborn Baby?

Elevated stress hormones, such as cortisol, can potentially affect the baby’s developing brain and immune system. Additionally, stress during pregnancy has been linked to an increased risk of behavioural and emotional problems in children. Emotional and physical well-being are important factors for a healthy mother and healthy baby as well. Hence it’s vital to manage stress at all levels.

Tips For Pregnant Women To Manage Stress

1. Self Care

Dr Rao suggests that first and foremost, self-care needs to be prioritised by getting enough rest. Establish a consistent sleep routine and create a comfortable sleep environment to promote relaxation.

2. Relaxation Techniques

Incorporate relaxation techniques into your daily life, such as deep breathing exercises, prenatal yoga, or mindfulness meditation. These practices can help calm the mind and reduce stress hormones.

3. Healthy Lifestyle

Maintain a healthy lifestyle by eating a balanced diet with essential nutrients. Regular, moderate exercise is beneficial and can boost mood. But please take your gynaecologist’s advice before starting any exercise routine during pregnancy.

4. Reach For Help

Establish a support system at home as well as work by sharing your thoughts and work with your partner, friends, and family to eliminate the factors causing stress. Don’t hesitate to seek professional support if needed.

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