Stress during pregnancy is a common experience for an expecting mother, but did you know that it has serious implications on your unborn child?
When you are pregnant your mind is crowded with a number of matters, you want the nine months to be a smooth ride and hence you end up stressing. The truth of the matter is that stress affects your baby and this is the time when you should be as calm as possible.
During pregnancy your body goes through many changes, and your emotions swing leaving you much worried and stressed. Feeling stressed is quite common for an expecting mother, but too much of stress will only make you uncomfortable and you will face trouble sleeping, have headaches and follow erratic eating habits. There are other more serious health issues attached to stress during pregnancy and all of them contribute to the downfall of your baby’s health.
Low Birth Weight which leads to Hypoglycemia
If you have seen the official birth papers of a newborn you will see that they mention the weight, and this is simply because a baby’s weight is extremely important. The weight of a baby is important from medical standpoint and a baby is considered to have low birth weight if he or she weighs less than 2.30 kg.
While some babies are born small, others have lower birth weights because they experience what is known as intrauterine growth restriction (IGR) and therefore they do not get the required amount of nutrition during their stay in the womb. Such babies born with low birth weight are a greater risk for health problems like hypoglycemia or low blood sugar.
Premature Birth that leads to Cerebral Palsy
While it is true that there are many reasons for a premature birth, researches have shown that high levels of stress is one of the prime reasons for it.
A pregnancy is supposed to last 40 weeks and this is the time that the foetus takes to grow into a baby with proper functioning organs. The earlier a baby is born the greater risk he or she has of experiencing health problems like minor breathing to lifelong diseases such as cerebral palsy.
Stress causes our brain to secrete hormones such as CRH hormone which is directly responsible for the length of pregnancy. Women giving birth prematurely have been found to have high levels of CRH hormone.
Risk of Problems in later life such as Heart Diseases
Researchers have also shown that stress during pregnancy can cause problems for a baby in later life. Your stress could affect your baby by hindering in the development of his or her brain when the high levels of hormones move into the placenta. Babies could have emotional, behavioural or physical issues, especially in the first trimester that may result in them being anxious and irritable.
Behavioural problems in babies whose mothers have had experienced stress is normal; the baby too may be more vulnerable to stress related issues in life. Furthermore, the baby could face learning difficulties and slower development, heart diseases, obesity and type 2 diabetes.
If you are an expecting mother then you must make some lifestyle changes and remove the possibility of stress from life. You must limit your alcohol consumption, quit smoking, eat healthy and avoid people who irritate you. Have a good pregnancy and a bright bundle of joy at the end of it.
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