Pregnancy often brings up feelings that can be unexpected and disorienting to some women.
Folk wisdom and cultures have long held that a mother’s emotional state affects her baby, with research now supporting this belief by showing the direct impact that maternal stress has on an unborn fetus’ development.
When discovering that you’re pregnant, it can be overwhelming and upheaval-inducing, with emotions ranging from joy, happiness, fear and anxiety all occurring at once. Pregnancy marks a major life transition; some women may worry about their baby or themselves health-wise, others about birth logistics or what may happen to their relationship – if unsure how you are feeling it would be beneficial to discuss any concerns with a healthcare provider or midwife as soon as possible.
Some women fear the pain and difficulty associated with childbirth, fearing they won’t be able to cope. This fear can be compounded by negative stories about other women’s experiences or depictions of childbirth on television, or worrying that they won’t be an “ideal” mother or that their baby won’t love them; this worry is particularly prevalent for women with previous poor maternal outcomes or mental illnesses like depression and schizophrenia.
Women often worry that eating something bad or not adhering to a particular diet might harm the fetus during gestation, but research indicates that most pregnancies end in healthy babies. Your doctor will give you a list of big no-nos at your first prenatal visit and can discuss any concerns later.
Anxiety during pregnancy has been linked with an increased risk of premature birth. But having access to a supportive network and the knowledge that most pregnancies are safe may help ease your anxieties.
Women who fear giving birth are commonly described as suffering from tokophobia; however, its root causes remain poorly understood. To understand them better in this study, semi-structured interviews were conducted with women who reported being fearful of childbirth as well as telephone interviews with consultant midwives who regularly support pregnant women who fear childbirth. A priori criteria were implemented whereby final themes would include those supported by two or more sources that included women reports (women’s interviews or meta-synthesis) in order to ensure women’s voices were included within this analysis.
Pregnancy can be an exciting time. Women usually express joy upon discovering they’re pregnant and are excited to announce it to family and friends. Additionally, pregnant women often enjoy visiting the doctor and receiving all necessary tests – another exciting aspect. Though this time will undoubtedly bring many emotions along the way, pregnancy should not be taken for granted!
She may be overjoyed at the news, yet also likely fearful that her body won’t adapt and she won’t be able to carry the pregnancy to term. While this fear is natural and should be respected by a woman’s partner and family members, a good way to alleviate it may be by seeking their support and helping her understand she will still make an excellent mother no matter whether her gestation is successful or not.
As her pregnancy advances, she may fall deeper in love with her unborn child and enjoy touching her belly to feel it move inside of her. Telling her partner and hearing his own joyous announcement of it all can only add more happiness. And once each trimester passes successfully and positive test results come back she’ll rejoice at knowing that positive progress has been made towards fulfilling a dream!
Though motherhood can be an exciting journey, a woman should remember that working may be necessary if she wishes to afford everything her new child requires. This may cause significant amounts of stress; therefore it is crucial that women prioritize taking care of themselves during this period to protect their mental and emotional health.
There is also great pressure for couples to ensure the baby is healthy; numerous factors could hinder its well-being, such as an unstable economy, the risks associated with Covid-19, and mother’s mental state of mind – studies on animals suggest this stress has an adverse impact on offspring development; similar results likely apply in humans as well.
Pregnancy can be an exciting, joyful, and hopeful time; yet it can also be an emotional roller coaster. It is perfectly normal to experience various emotions during this period – with miscarriage or loss leading to even deeper feelings of sadness. These negative reactions don’t indicate that pregnancy wasn’t wanted nor that you will not love your baby when born. Yet, many mothers often feel guilt whenever they feel these kinds of emotions. So it is extremely important to seek help from trusted sites like Focus On Your Child and refer to the advice of medical professionals.
At times, anxiety may become so intense that it interferes with a woman’s daily life and causes distress or fear. If this occurs, further assessment must be completed to rule out a psychiatric illness such as perinatal anxiety disorder; which involves intense, overwhelming, often irrational feelings of worry or fear that can manifest themselves physically as palpitations, sweating and headaches.
Anxiety is a normal human emotion and it’s understandable for anyone to feel anxious before major life events like job interviews, car purchases and medical procedures such as dentistry work or surgery. But when anxiety concerns become frequent and persistent, they could signal the presence of an anxiety disorder. Anxiety disorders have also been associated with cardiovascular disease, autoimmune conditions and digestive health conditions as well as psychological trauma and emotional disorders.
At risk for anxiety disorders are people with histories of childhood trauma such as abuse or neglect, traumatic experiences or family members with mental health problems. Chronic stress and insufficient support systems also increase the odds of anxiety disorders developing.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), in which one works with a psychologist to identify and challenge any thinking patterns that cause anxiety, is one form of treatment available for anxiety. CBT may be tailored specifically to individual or group settings for treatment; other approaches for severe cases of anxiety are behavioral therapy that focuses on changing actions that contribute to feelings of unease as well as medications.
Not every pregnancy brings joy, however. Pregnancies often include major life changes for expectant mothers such as hormonal shifts and financial strains resulting from childcare concerns and family obligations that emerge during this time. If any woman experiencing these symptoms seeks medical assistance or joins an expectant mothers support group.
Depression during pregnancy can be a natural reaction to its emotional ups and downs, but if a woman is having difficulty functioning or is feeling hopeless or suicidal she should seek professional assistance immediately. Depression during gestation can be harmful both to mother and unborn baby alike; infants born to mothers suffering from postpartum depression have difficulty adapting to life outside utero and may develop behavioral issues later. Additionally, those who have experienced mental illness prior to gestation are at an increased risk for postpartum depression which can present itself later after delivery, creating challenges both to mother and infant alike.
Researchers have determined that unborn fetuses sense their mother’s psychological distress during gestation. Catherine Monk, professor of medical psychology in psychiatry and obstetrics at Columbia University Irving Medical Center, along with her team used various techniques to track fetal heart rates while the mother completed an emotionally straining mental task. Researchers discovered that fetuses of mothers experiencing depression or anxiety exhibited a heightened heart rate response as soon as their mother experienced stress, while four month-old fetuses were tested to see if these responses related to temperament issues. According to these results, maternal stress could potentially pass down through vaginal walls to affect its baby and have lasting implications on his or her behavior later in life.
As with any pregnancy, pregnancy emotions can be difficult to navigate. While normal feelings during gestation include excitement, fear, anxiety and all the rest; severe or persistent depression should be reported immediately to healthcare provider or joining an NCT antenatal course or bumps and babies group may provide some much-needed respite.