Stress is a normal reaction to a major change such as pregnancy. In some cases, stress may even be good for people because it can push them to take action in the face of new challenges. However, too much stress can be overwhelming and could even lead to health problems both for the mother and the baby in the uterus.
Being pregnant can bring up a range of emotions for you including feeling anxious or stressed, but this is completely normal.
POSSIBLE CAUSES OF STRESS
- For some women, finding out that they are pregnant can be a stressful experience itself because they feel like they have lost control or they don’t have enough resources to manage what they’ll be experiencing.
- Previous negative experience with a pregnancy, birth or motherhood e.g. miscarriage, still birth, IVF etc.
- It can be stressful while dealing with the physical changes of pregnancy and Antenatal palava (going for tests, waiting to see a doctor etc.)
- Uncomfortable physical changes like nausea, vomiting, tiredness, mood swings and back ache.
- Emotional stress can also occur, such as grief (loss of a loved one), Past anxiety, depression, mental illness which can cause more stress during pregnancy.
RISK OF STRESS TO BABY AND PREGNANCY
Stress can affect the mother’s health or her general well-being resulting to any one of the following:
- Weight loss.
- Tachypnea (abnormal rapid breathing)
- Tachycardia (Racing Pulse)
- Preeclampsia (5%)
- Preterm and low birth weight
- Intrauterine growth restriction.
WAYS TO REDUCE STRESS
- Ensure you’re paying attention to the triggers that stress you and note what happens to you when you feel stressed.
- Always try to stay calm whenever you notice stress building up by taking deep breadths in and out (try not to respond negatively whenever you are stressed).
- Make sure you exercise regularly.
- Listen to music.
- Spend time with people who make you feel calm.
- Keep yourself busy with things that make you feel comfortable.
- Eat nutritious and balanced diet regularly to keep baby and mother healthy.
- Most of all, don’t hesitate to seek for help from loved ones and healthcare professionals.
OMOSEBI OLUWASEFUNMI ESTHER
MERCY GROUP CLINICS, ABEOKUTA, OGUN STATE.