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Emotional Health during Pregnancy

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Emotional Health during Pregnancy
Emotional health during pregnancy is equally important as physical well-being. Over stressed and highly anxious pregnant women are at greater risk of preterm labor and or low birth weight of baby.

Almost all pregnant women are prone to emotional ups and downs. Pregnancy is replete with changes, physical as well as emotional. In fact the physical and hormonal changes in pregnancy can subject the pregnant woman to experience a roller-coaster ride of emotions.

Is it then possible at all for a pregnant woman to be at peace through her pregnancy? Yes, if she imbibes emotional health management and practices emotional health tips. Emotional balance and a complete physical fitness both are equally critical and augment the experience of motherhood. Here is a guide to understanding pregnancy and the emotional changes, its triggers and easy ways to balance emotional health.

Emotional health during pregnancy

Just like the changing shape of body, emotions too change during pregnancy. In the absence of prior knowledge on the subject, a pregnant woman may feel overwhelmed by the sudden splurge of feelings. For her, it's a new experience beyond comprehension. Totally perplexed, she is likely to face a confrontation within herself. All the more dangerous, if she remains alienated and decides not to talk about it. Thus, ignorance can lead to life-threatening situations for the mother and the growing life inside. On the other hand anticipation and acceptance is beneficial to learn and cope with emotional health during pregnancy.

Typical fears of a pregnant woman:

  • Fears about childbirth
  • Risk of miscarriage
  • Worries if the baby will be born safely
  • Concerns about baby's health
  • Personal health status
  • Impending labor and how to cope with pain
  • Fear of rejection by partner due to changes in body
  • Career conflict.
  • Doubts about becoming a parent.
  • Additional financial pressures
  • Maternal age

These thoughts can lead to certain emotional feelings such as:

  • Depression
  • Confusion
  • Impatience
  • Mood swings (great joy to intense despair)
  • Fear, worry
  • Ambivalence
  • Anxiety
  • Nervous
  • Agitation
  • Excitement
  • Stress, tension
  • Anger
  • Irritation
  • Loneliness.

What triggers these emotions? Not just the changing levels of hormones, even certain physical discomfort plays a role. Triggers can be a combination of factors listed below.

  • Swinging hormonal levels.
  • Changes in body.
  • Stressful pace of life.
  • Health complications during pregnancy period.
  • Lack of support system.
  • Relationship problem with partner.
  • History of trauma or abuse.
  • Thoughts of previous miscarriage.
  • Personal or family history of depression.

Pregnancy and emotional well-being

Will emotions cast an effect on the life growing inside? They increases risk levels. The umbilical cord is a lifeline between the pregnant woman and the baby. There is a lot of back and forth action through the umbilical cord. When a pregnant woman is stressed the body produces more of hormone cortisol, the primary stress hormone. It increases blood pressure and blood sugar and reduces the immune responses, not a healthy development especially during the pregnancy period. Here are some other observations.

  • Chronic stress, lasting for many weeks reduce fetus growth.
  • Chances of miscarriage and premature delivery increases.
  • More of hormone cortisol, the primary stress hormone is produced.
  • Increased levels of cortisol can enter baby's developing brain
  • Can lead to baby developing behavioral problems later in life.
  • Relationship problem with partner.Experiences in the womb affect baby's development of body cells, sense of self and influences attitude later in his/her life.

Emotional health management

Pregnancy emotional health management is better understood as caring for and maintaining good emotional health. Pregnant women who seek balanced emotional health are aware of their changing thoughts, feelings and behaviors. She is prepared to take things in her stride and ready to look forward and enjoy the bliss of motherhood.

Acceptance: Accept that physical and emotional changes are part of pregnancy. Understand that it is temporary and will last at the most couple of months post delivery.

Be Aware: Every trimester of pregnancy brings forth changes in the body and emotional state. Read books, talk to new moms with positive birth experiences.

Care for self: You are responsible to bring in a healthy new life into this world. Caring for self is caring for the baby. Eat well, take ample rest and indulge in self-pampering.

Talk, talk and talk: Open up, feel free to discuss and seek help. Vent out feelings talk to gynecologist, partner or anyone who can provide mental strength and support.

Slowdown: The changes can bring about a measured reduction in energy levels. Pregnancy fatigue kicks in. Reorganize and prioritize work Get accustomed to work at a reduced pace.

Let go: Certain emotional feelings make you feel heavier. Seek relief by engaging in activities that make you feel better. When feeling very emotional, try to analyze what is bothering you then work out a solution.

Exercise: Talk to health care provider and discuss safer exercises that can improve your health and mood.

Connect with friends: Stay in touch with friends. Continue to communicate in a typical manner, as always, it can be a great way to keep spirits high

Emotional health tips

Practice these tips to contain unpleasant emotional changes and feel the difference.

Add cheer to bedroom: These nine months are extra special in your life. Think of an exciting new idea. Prepare a bedroom makeover plan. Add cheer to the environment.

Provide nourishment for the body: During the first visit post confirmation of pregnancy, discuss with health care provider and determine a nutrient rich diet. Take note of what foods to include and foods that needs to be avoided. Drink plenty of fluids.

Sleep well: Get enough rest. Lie down in a comfortable posture.

Look healthy, stay fit: Check and determine type of exercise and duration in relation to pregnancy term. You are able to keep a check on body shape too. Join prenatal exercise class. Specific asanas in yoga offers immense benefits. It helps in the unison of body and mind.

Believe in yourself: Believe that you have the strength and determination to overcome any challenge during pregnancy. Visualize the day when you can hold the baby you have been carrying for nine months. Remove fears about being a dutiful mother. Believe you have the power to be a good mother.

Wear comfortable clothes: Pregnancy brings along changes in body shape. Shop for cool, comfortable clothing. Check affordable pregnancy clothes.

Keep a journal: Write down and express your feelings. If you notice consecutive feelings of negative emotions, seek professional help. Discuss with health care provider who will in turn either prescribe medications to alleviate the problem or direct to a counselor.

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