PREGNANCY and MENTAL STRESS
Pregnancy is a very demanding situation both physically and mentally for a woman. But in addition to medical treatment and antenatal care, it is very important to reduce and manage mental stress.
Stress has an adverse effect on conception itself and the health of both mother and baby.
The adverse effects are:
1. MISCARRIAGE: There are many reasons for miscarriage but stress can cause an altered immune response and this may lead to abortion.
2. PRETERM BIRTH: Stress may lead to excessive production of corticotrophin-releasing hormone and cause hormonal disturbances leading to the early onset of labor pains. A decrease in immunity may cause increased susceptibility to infection which may cause early rupture of the bag of water. (Premature rupture of membranes)
3. PRE-ECLAMPSIA: It is a condition in which blood pressure increases during pregnancy causing maternal and fetal complications
4. GESTATIONAL DIABETES: Development of High sugar levels during pregnancy which again affects both mother and baby
5. LONG-TERM EFFECTS ON CHILDREN: Maternal Stress can alter and dysregulate the development of the brain and nervous system in the baby. There are studies showing childhood behavioral problems like difficulty in paying attention and increased susceptibility to fear and anxiety as a result of prenatal stress.