Stress and your pregnancy
Not too long ago the media went a little crazy at the idea that stress in pregnancy is a pre-cursor to developmental problems, depression and other issues in growing children. It was alarming – to say the least.
It is important to note that the research is looking at an increased level of stress during pregnancy. If you work in a job that carries a specific level of stress and you have coped with that stress quite well pre-pregnancy you will continue to do so during your pregnancy. The stress they are talking about is a significant amount of stress above what you would usually experience. The kind of stress you might feel if you suffer from peri-natal depression or anxiety.
The layman’s explanation is that your body has the ability to feed the baby information regarding environmental factors to help the baby’s chance of survival outside of the womb. So in times of great famine that had a specific end date babies were being informed by their mothers body that food was scarce. This gave them to ability to store fat better. The famine ends and these babies have a pre-disposition to be overweight. If you are stressed you have a high cortisol level which your body informs the growing baby and the baby makes genetic changes to better survive in a world that is extremely stressful.
If you are reading this and thinking ‘But I’m pregnant and I’m stressed! This is making me even more stressed. I am HARMING MY BABY!!!’. First of all take a few deep calming breathes. Add this to your daily practice for any stress to turn off those cortisol chemicals and turn on your thinking brain. You can’t help the level of stress you are feeling during pregnancy. It will be different for everyone, and that first baby nesting may have you moving house, doing a major renovation and all sorts of crazy Mama things that stress you out even more. What you can help is your reaction to it. If your level of stress is so significant you do not feel like yourself or you do not feel like you can be happy please go to a Doctor. Your mental health is important, and you need to look after you!
As a society and as women in the twentieth century we feel we have to do it all. During the very tiring process of growing an entire other human this can cause us to become overworked, overtired and stressed. So the first thing I would do is look for ways you can be gentle with yourself. Say no to social outings that may stretch you. Say yes to social outings that will please you. Call in sick to work if you aren’t feeling one hundred percent. If your body is sending a signal to rest – rest. It is time to start listen to your inner Mama and let her mother you.
Once your tiny human is born remember, that while factors in-utero can have an impact on your child’s future, that development period of nine months in the womb makes up less than 1% of the average Australian’s lifespan. Your parenting, your lifestyle, the decisions you make will all add up to make an impact in raising a child into an amazing woman or man you can be proud of.
If you find this topic interesting here is a link to some research below :
Danika is passionate about helping Mama's find their ultimate birthing experience. After a beautiful Hypno Birthing experience she was empowered and had found her true self as a woman. She was shocked to hear that her friends did not have the same experience. The hospital systems had let them down, had not educated and encouraged them to take charge of their birth.
Danika found her passion - to help and encourage women to take back their power. To have beautiful births that they feel are supported and most importantly to take away the trauma that is so often referenced in modern birthing experience. Her role is to educate, empower and encourage women to a beautiful birthing experience in any environment and with any birth plan in mind - from drug free to surgical.
Author's Details:Danika Armstrong