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Prenatal Stress

Avoid The Hazards of Stressing Out During Pregnancy – Learn How to Manage Prenatal StresThis week, I found myself in some stressful situations from family to work.  Over the years, I’ve learned to handle my stress by not focus on what I can’t control and fix what I can…ME!  Although I’m still a work in progress, I’ve evolved over the years into what some would perceive as a someone who has a problem expressing feelings.  The real reason is, we’re too blessed to be stressed.  Now, sis, let’s take some time to discuss some things. 

This week, I found myself in some stressful situations from family to work. Over the years, I’ve learned to handle my stress by not focusing on what I can’t control and fix what I can….ME! Although I’m still a work in progress. I’ve evolved over the years into what some would perceive as a someone who has a problem expressing feelings. The real reason is, we’re too blessed to be stressed. Now, sis, let’s take some time to discuss some things.

It is common for women to stress out during pregnancy as they are going through a lot of changes in their body, mental condition, and even their everyday routine. Some women welcome such changes, while others don’t. Unfortunately, increased stress levels during pregnancy can lead to various health issues – like heart disease and high blood pressure – and it’s not good for the growing fetus either. It can result in premature birth (birth before the 37th week) or low-birthweight babies among other problems. In fact, babies born too small or too early have a higher risk of developing health problems. 

Common Causes of Stress During Pregnancy

What causes stress during pregnancy may differ from one woman to another. However, some common reasons behind stressing out in pregnancy include the following. 

  • The discomforts that come with pregnancy – such as morning sickness, backaches, tiredness, and constipation – may be stressing you out. 
  • You may be experiencing mood swings due to hormonal changes in the body. Such mood changes can make stress harder to manage. 
  • You may be over-thinking about your pregnancy, labor, and birth and the very thought of taking care of the baby may be freaking you out. If you’re a working mom, you might have to take the extra burden of managing your job duties and preparing your team for the time when you’ll be on maternity leave. 
  • You may be worried about how your eating habits or other things you do in your everyday routine might affect the baby. 

Whatever may be the cause behind the stress you are feeling in pregnancy, it can lead to some serious problems. So, you need to stay on guard and figure out ways how you can avoid it. 

How Stress Affects Your Pregnancy Health and Overall Health?

It is believed that some stress-related hormones tend to contribute to some pregnancy complications. Taking stress for too long can impact the immune system, and reduced immunity can increase the possibility of an infection in the uterus. Such an infection can lead to premature birth. Besides, listed below are some other issues stress can cause in your pregnancy. 

  • Stress can worsen your routine pregnancy discomforts like body aches, morning sickness, and trouble sleeping. 
  • Your eating habits may be affected, and you will either start eating way too much or too little to maintain your general well-being. So, you become susceptible to becoming overweight or underweight in pregnancy. It can also increase the risk of preterm labor and gestational diabetes. 
  • Stress can also result in high blood pressure in pregnancy, and this can lead to a serious condition known as preeclampsia where the infant is born premature and with low birth weight. 
  • The way you deal with stress can also have a negative impact on your pregnancy. For example, many women smoke cigarettes, take street drugs, or drink alcohol to deal with their stress and anxiety. All such acts can result in serious health issues for them and their baby. 

Even if you are not pregnant, chronic stress can affect your general wellbeing. You may regularly experience headaches, face sleeping problems, and develop breathing problems. Some women even have obsessive thoughts, anger, anxiety, eating problems, and issues when trying to relax if they suffer from chronic stress. High stress levels for a longer period can also make you prone to illnesses – like hypertension and heart problems. 

Now that I’ve given you some things to think about.  Next week, we’ll dig into how to identify if you’re stressed and how to reduce it. 

**The information given is helpful, but it is not a substitute for your care provider. He or she will have specific information about you and will be able to help tailor your care for your personal circumstances.   These are guidelines and the best care will sometimes mean doing things different than or in addition to what will be outlined today. Information is not being endorsed by any government or public entity. The views expressed are only those of the author**

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