Studies have found that stress in pregnant women can have many profound and often negative effects on both the mother and her unborn child. Indeed, animal studies suggest stress before pregnancy may even be detrimental. All of this is due to several factors that must be taken into account for a properly healthy pregnancy.
One major effect of stress is that it increases the rate of pre-term births (defined as those before the 37th week). Somewhat counter-intuitively, some studies suggest that anxiety in the first trimester may have the most significant impact on causing premature labor, but this is not definite. Either way, the third is obviously important too. The effects of stress tell the foetus that it is time to be born, but leaving the womb too early has been linked to higher chances for later medical issues, including developmental delays, learning disorders and lung disease, aside from the immediate dangers to mother and child.
Besides telling the child to leave the womb early, stress can have other negative side effects. Hormones have a huge role in how a child develops, and since the child’s development takes cue from its mother’s biology, stress can affect the foetus, setting him or her up for various stress-related disorders. As Janet DiPietro, a developmental psychologist at Johns Hopkins University, put it: “Who you are and what you’re like when you’re pregnant will affect who that baby is.” This may lead to babies who interact less with their surroundings, and who are more prone to depression and irritability later.
On a different note, some studies have indicated that stress during pregnancy can lead to male homosexuality. This may be due to testosterone levels in pregnant women. While this has been shown with some lab animals, replicating the results has been difficult, and this link remains unconfirmed and controversial.
Stress is definitely harmful, but exactly what constitutes dangerous amounts of stress is harder to determine. “Big” stresses like death of a loved one or disaster are obvious, but too many “little” stresses are probably more common and just as problematic. Pregnant women should be careful about their lifestyles during pregnancy; now is not the time to add more activities or difficult circumstances.
Pregnancy itself is stressful on the body, and such stress needs to be minimized for the good of both mother and child. A lot has to do with a particularly woman’s individual personality. Positive coping mechanisms can be as simple (or difficult, depending on how you look at it) as an optimistic attitude, self-esteem and a network of emotional supporters. One can also try more concrete actions like yoga, meditation or guided imagery. Just don’t get too stressed about your stress. Feel free to visit our site for more information on cot bed mattresses.