Stress is a common thing in our daily lives. Both men and women of all age range undergo stress in their families, workplaces, etc. Psychotherapists say that women are highly encountering stress levels when compared to men. The changes occurring inside their body and conditions like menopause are also associated with stress in the women.
Researches show that extensive stress levels in pregnant women who are expecting the kid developing in their uterus will affect the baby and cause lasting abiding problems in the toddler.
When an expectant mother is stressed for a longer period of time during pregnancy, it will provoke the stress hormones called corticotropin-releasing hormones (CRH). Then the placenta which provides nutrients to the baby developing also release CRH. It results in affecting the metabolism of the fetus.
Short-term stress during pregnancy is a normal thing, The effect of such chronic stress is minimal. On the other hand, constant and acute stress level has a negative impact on the unborn baby as explained here.
1) Premature Birth and Low weight Baby
The excess of CRH secretion is linked with pre-term delivery. Such a stressful pregnancy leads the labor to start before the baby is full-term. This modifies the course of fetal development and causes premature birth. Such babies delivered in premature birth are less in weight and have higher chances of long-term health defects like lung diseases, asthma, breathing problems.
Many people thought that stress and depressions encountered in the last trimester cause preterm birth but typically the consistent stress happened in the first trimester is the prime factor for preterm labors.
2) It affects brain development
In general, the enzymes and nutrients produced by the placenta inculcate the CRH. Otherwise, the coping mechanism of cortisol is affected when the cortisol level is quite high. When the placenta does not cope well with the cortisol, it will influence brain development.
Such issues in the stage of brain development will affect the child’s IQ levels, minimize the cognitive abilities and cause behavioral issues later in life.
3) It increases the kid’s anxiety levels
The secretion of the hormone cortisol which crosses the placenta to the fetus is powerful to influence the neurological development of the baby. Such neurological issues during pregnancy will accelerate the anxiety levels of the baby.
Newborn babies and infants scare for even simple things which are not familiar to them. This is a common thing but kids who are influenced by pregnancy depression will develop a strong feeling of fear and look for their parent’s care even after reaching the adolescent age.
4) Changes in Baby Sleep Patterns
The stress and anxiety encountered by a woman during pregnancy will persuade sleep issues in the babies. The cortisol along with the stress hormones released because of long term stresses affect the brain region which is responsible for the circadian rhythm of humans which is generated endogenously.
Moderations in the Circadian Rhythm is responsible for the abnormal sleeping patterns like sleeping in the day time and wake up in midnight.
5) Health Problems in babies
Apart from infecting the brain and psychological development, high levels of stress during the menstrual period will affect the microbes which are transmitted to the fetus in the womb. Such infected microbes are responsible for the defective immune system and metabolism changes in toddlers.
Doctors also believe that the long term stress in the first trimester period is directly linked to such moderated microbiota. It stimulates various health issues like hearing deficiency, cataract issues, breathing problems, musculoskeletal problems, issues in skin, allergies, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), etc,
Researches reveal that kids who are suffered from stress in the uterus for a while have higher chances of mental disorders like Autism, Schizophrenia, etc.
The emotions a woman experience when she is pregnant are quite heightened and their impacts are quite powerful. Even though the stress and unidentified depression are normal for expectant mothers, they will influence the baby sleeping in the womb if the stress persists for the long term. Hence it is important for pregnant women to indulge in activities to keep themselves relax.
Meditation, prenatal yoga, Haring songs, deep sleep, simple exercises, eating favorite foods will help one to relieve from stress. They are also suitable for a pregnant woman. If you are unaware of things to get relief from maternal stress, consult Gynaecologists near you or a specialist.