Can Stress Affect Your Baby?

Have you ever wondered if all that stress you are subjecting yourself to could be potentially harmful for your baby? It is normal to feel stressed out due to all the new changes that will come along with this pregnancy; your body changes, your routines go for a toss; you feel hungry, tired and sore all the time. All these additions can make you feel exhausted beyond rhyme and reason but it is essential to understand how stress can affect your baby.

What Stress Does To Your Body?

When you are stressed, your body releases hormones like cortisol1 and others that are generally released when you are in danger. This also tends to make your heart pump faster. If you distract yourself and let the stress recede, your body’s response to the stress will die down and normal balance will be restored. If the same does not happen, your body’s stress management levels may get altered and lead to constant inflammatory responses to stress factors.

How Does This Affect Your Baby?

Research suggests that women who have been perennially stressed in pregnancy are more likely to deliver babies who lag behind in reaching milestones and do not grow as healthy as other kids do. They might also have poor coping skills and be low birth weight premature babies. Stress has a direct co-relation with preterm labor. For those who are prone to Gestational Hypertension should always stay as goal-oriented as possible and plan their schedule in advance so that last-minute stress does not affect them in any way. For those women who tend to have chronic stress might have children who have behavioral issues as well. Although this is yet to be proven scientifically, but there are evidences to prove the same.

How To Avoid Getting Stressed?

1. Ask For Help

When you realize that you have too much on your plate and managing everything seems impossible, reach out for help. Trying to be a control freak will only add to your troubles.

2. Talk To Another Pregnant Women

Talking to others in the same plight as that of yours helps a good deal. You can talk and discuss about pregnancy and parenting queries that were major causes of stress for you.

3. Take A Break

Whenever you feel swamped with work, let go of everything and get up to take a walk or a stroll. Breathing in fresh air always helps in de-cluttering your mind.

4. Professional Help

If you ever feel that the negativity is getting to you or you are harboring negative feelings for your fetus and everyone around you, you are essentially weepy, hardly sleep or eat well etc, you could seek professional help to come out of this.

There is every possibility for stress to affect you and your fetus in a negative way so the best way to enjoy this phase would be to know and understand your mind and body to keep them in sync. Think of baby scents, soft skin and adorable yawns whenever stress tries to get the better of you!

Reference:

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cortisol