Although ultrasound technology has greatly improved, there is still a great degree of mystery about what a baby’s life in the womb looks like. Understandably, many expectant mothers develop a strong relationship with their unborn children.
It is fascinating to consider how deep a friendship like that may really go. What about the influences on your relationship? You may worry about how you will care for this wonderful new baby.
Your financial position may be causing you anxiety. Or maybe you’re worried about how you’ll handle the added responsibilities of a newborn or how a new addition will affect your family’s dynamic. So, can newborns perceive your feelings while they’re still within your womb?
An easy question might quickly turn into a thorny one. The question is whether you’re thinking about the fleeting sensations of happiness or frustration. Similarly, would you classify disorders like sadness and anxiety as emotional states?
A shared emotional life between a mother and her fetus can be mind-boggling, depending on how you define the bounds.
A pregnant lady can create emotions from thoughts such as: work, baby shower plans, relationships, nursery decoration, health and any other issue around her life.
Often, fear-based stress responses are due to negative thoughts. Stress activates the endocrine system of the fetus and reduces fetal brain development throughout pregnancy. Stressed-out pregnant women will probably get children with behavioral issues.
People who are stressed out all the time are more likely to give birth to babies who are colicky and hyperactive, as well as premature, irritable, and underweight.
In the womb, are newborns sensitive to the mother’s stress?
During pregnancy, we treat the mother and baby as a pair. Pregnancy is a two-way street for a mother and her unborn baby. Whatever a mother does, the baby gets to experience it.
Maternal emotions result in the production of particular hormones that affect the fetus.
These hormones include:
As with the ‘fight or flight” response, this happens when we are under stress. Glucose is supplied to the body by cortisol in the event of an emergency.
When we’re stressed or in pain, hormones called “feel good” or “pain relief” are released.
Epinephrine, sometimes known as adrenaline, controls our “fight or flight” response. Adrenaline can interfere with oxytocin production during labor and childbirth.
With its release, we experience love and the nurturing actions that go along with it. It’s critical for labor, delivery, and postpartum care.
What impact will stress have on a developing child?
The placenta responds to hormones like adrenaline and cortisol. This influences the growth of your child.
Adrenaline narrows the blood arteries, decreasing the amount of oxygen carried by the blood and the rate at which it can carry it. This can cause issues for your unborn child.
Pregnancy-related stress can raise the risk of:
- Maternal high blood pressure
- Growth Restriction During Pregnancy
- Placenta abnormalities/poor placenta function
- Low fetal mass
- There is a considerable increase in infant mortality associated with preterm birth
- A uterine infection
- Because of worries about the health of the fetus, doctors may have to induce labor or perform a cesarean section
- After birth, breastfeeding, skin-to-skin contact, and there’s a delay in other bonding opportunities.
It also raises a child’s risk of acquiring lasting health issues, like:
- Cardiovascular disease
What types of stress are dangerous?
When stress becomes a regular occurrence, it can be dangerous. Major life tragedies like acts of racism or discrimination, homelessness, the death of a loved one, or domestic abuse can create stress.
Stress hormones can build up in the amniotic fluid of a pregnant woman who is under a lot of stress or has been through a lot of trauma.
Your baby’s development is likely to be affected by this degree of stress.
We all have our own ways of handling stress; however, these often result in unhealthy behaviors or habits like:
- A dependency on ‘treats,’ such as junk or comfort food
- Drinking alcohol
- An inability to get enough sleep
- Eating too much or too little
- Addiction to illegal substances.
Managing one’s emotions while pregnant
When you’re sick and fatigued, it isn’t easy to think properly or have a positive attitude. It’s important to take care of your physical health, including getting plenty of sleep and rest, to keep your emotions in check.
As part of your daily nutrition plan, you should consume numerous healthy meals throughout the day. Also, avoid sugary foods like sodas and alcoholic beverages like tea, coffee, and wine.
Gentle to moderate exercise can help lift your spirits and keep you in shape while you’re pregnant. It will also be beneficial to your baby’s development and the labor process.
Get some exercise into your daily routine. Pregnant women should avoid strenuous exercise and contact sports, especially if they were not active before they became pregnant.
Try strategies to alleviate stress and improve your emotional well-being if you can. Try to focus on one worry at a time rather than feeling overwhelmed by them all at once.
Take a breath and enjoy the moment
Try to limit the amount of time you spend thinking about the future and give yourself a break. Instead, focus your attention on your growing child and relish the experience of being pregnant.
Mindfulness or doing something you enjoy can be beneficial to expectant mothers. Mindfulness can help you relax your mind, allowing you to view things more clearly and put them into perspective.
During pregnancy, listening to music might help alleviate stress and improve one’s overall sense of well-being. Some mothers like to save diaries or photos as a reminder of happier times.
You can manage anxiety and stress better by writing about your feelings and keeping a journal of your experiences.
Talk it out
Your anxiety will only grow if you suppress your worries. Confide with a trusted friend or family member who will listen to your concerns and fears. Whoever you choose to include in this group may include friends, family members, or even your midwife.
Women and couples who have had similar hardships may be able to relate to you. When you join a prenatal yoga class, you’ll be surrounded by others who understand what you are going through.
Much like sleep, what you eat can positively impact your emotions and mood. In order to maintain a stable emotional state, it is important to eat meals that are both nutritious and natural.
Getting a good night’s sleep can profoundly affect your mental health. Even if it isn’t always possible, try to obtain at least the recommended amount of sleep each night. Try different sleeping positions and tell your partner if you’re having trouble sleeping so that you and your partner can come up with a plan to make sure you get enough sleep.
Be mindful of what you need and listen to your body and mind. Take a bubble bath if you think it would help you relax. Make time for yourself to rest and unwind by getting a pedicure or reading a book.
When you may be in need of more emotional support
Consider the difference between normal pregnant emotions and a serious mental health problem. A woman’s first encounter with mental health difficulties may occur during pregnancy.
Anxiety and depression are common during pregnancy for more than one in eight women, and both in some cases.
- Have suicidal thoughts.
- Suffering from uncontrollable intrusive thoughts
- A hard time getting to sleep at night
- Lost interest in your favorite activities
- In a state of panic
- You’re prone to habitual behaviors, such as checking social media or constantly washing your hands.
- Find it difficult to make decisions or concentrate
- You’ve lost interest in food
- Have a paralyzing fear of becoming a mother
- A lack of self-esteem
- Depression for an extended period of time
Advantages of emotional health during pregnancy
Everything you do and feel while pregnant is passed on to your unborn child. This includes the emotions you experience, the air you breathe, the sounds in the environment, and the food you eat.
As a result, your baby grows up in a happy and tranquil atmosphere when you are calm and happy. On the other hand, anxiety and stress can raise the levels of certain hormones in your body. This can have an impact on the development of your baby’s brain and body.
When you connect with your baby as a new parent, you profoundly impact the way they develop as a person. As a result of these interactions, you and your child develop stronger emotional ties.
Maintaining healthy emotional ties with your parents, siblings, and other relatives becomes easier when you’re in good mental and physical health. They can be a source of support to you and your partner as you adjust to having a new baby.