Thursday, August 8, 2019

Stress in pregnancy will cause nervous child? How to avoid problems

Stress in pregnancy experienced by a mother during pregnancy affect her baby’s health? In what cases can the situation still be changed?

Positive stress in pregnancy affects the health of the pregnant woman and the fetus

- Stress - a set of reactions of the body to the effects of various adverse factors (physical or psychological), as well as the corresponding state of the nervous system of the body. There are positive (or eustress) and toxic (negative) types of stress.
Under stress, activation of the sympathetic nervous system occurs, the release of adrenaline, norepinephrine and glucocorticoid homons. The body mobilizes, the heart rate, respiration increase, the maximum energy goes to the limbs. All in order to fight or run ...
- This reaction came to us in an evolutionary way from distant ancestors, forced, conditionally, to flee from the saber-toothed tiger on the hunt. Modern people often do not run from anyone, they are often exposed not only to short-term, but also chronic stress. This is a distinguishing feature of man as a species. For example, we experience stress when confronted with social problems or experience prolonged psychological pressure. With prolonged uncontrolled loads, the work of the stress system is disrupted, and even repression of the human reproductive system can occur.
If we talk about pregnant women, then even stress is not desirable. He may be present, but only in a mild form, for example, while participating in the wedding of a close relative. In a normal state, the forces of the body under the influence of positive stress are mobilized, and during pregnancy, nature has laid down that the resources go to the development of the fetus. The body is set up so as to worry as little as possible, and there are ways to protect against unrest in every trimester.

On ways to protect against stress in pregnant women  

1 trimester or "kingdom of progesterone"

- In the first three months of expecting a baby, a large amount of progesterone is produced in a woman's body. One of its functions is to create comfortable conditions for the attachment and development of the ovum. But progesterone also has an effect on the nervous system: a woman becomes calmer, somewhat lethargic and sleepy. She is less distracted by external influences; she looks more “deeper” into herself.

Chronic stress during this period can lead to spontaneous miscarriage or abnormal development of the fetus.

2 trimester

- At this time, the placenta produces the enzyme 11β-hydroxylase. It blocks the passage of maternal glucorticoids across the placenta to the fetus. Those. protects the future baby from stress hormones that are produced in the body of the expectant mother.
But, unfortunately, it is not 100% blocked. If the experience is long or chronic, then the stress hormones of the mother pass to the fetus. Moreover, negative processes will affect not only the metabolic processes of the unborn baby, but also the development of its brain.

3 trimester

- In the 3rd trimester, the enzyme 11β-Hydroxylase also works , which protects the unborn baby. In addition, at this time, the activation of the subcortical structures of the brain of the future mother occurs. A woman focuses on the internal state, and not on external (often stressful) factors. Her intuition begins to work well.
An increased level of stress in the mother can contribute to a change in the maturation of the brain in the fetus, as well as lead to premature birth or the birth of a child with a low body weight.

Expectant stress in pregnancy and malnutrition are linked to child health programming

Improper nutrition of a pregnant woman can lead not only to the stress of the body of the expectant mother, but also to serious long-term consequences for the health of the child.
- Being in the womb, the work of the organism of the future person is already programmed. This applies to metabolic processes and the proper functioning of the brain. Migration of neurons in the fetal brain is observed at the beginning of pregnancy. From week 20, neurons begin to connect, forming bonds. By the end of the bearing of the baby and after childbirth, the process of myelination of nerve fibers occurs, as a result of which the impulses are transmitted faster. The appearance of skills in a baby (speech, writing, motor activity) is based on the correctly tuned work of impulses and neural networks of the brain. Vision and hearing are formed.
- Under stress in the mother, the formation of neural networks in the fetus slows down, the formation of the child’s skills is difficult. This may affect the realization of the baby’s potential in the future.
In addition, after birth, the baby will be more anxious and hypernormal. And when growing up - more prone to depression and anxiety disorders.
Stress in the mother also affects the metabolic processes of the baby in the womb. It works as follows: the child inherits the genes from the mother and father. However, what is “turned on” and what is not depends on internal and external factors. For example, malnutrition of the expectant mother is stress for her body and the body of the unborn child.
If a pregnant woman receives an insufficient and unbalanced diet, this can affect the phenotype of the unborn baby (on his appearance). In particular, an economical phenotype is formed, i.e. genes are included that force the fetus to use any source of energy from food as economically as possible. 
After birth and in adulthood, such people have increased risks of obesity, type II diabetes mellitus, and hypertension.

The situation can be corrected

- To make it real in the first 3 years of a baby’s life. This was proved by researcher Michael Mini, who conducted an experiment on rats . Later, the data were confirmed in cases with people.
- The thing is that the anxious, but sensitive mother, who lovingly cares for the baby, can normalize and even reduce the anxiety of the child. If a baby comes across an inattentive, indifferent or poorly caring mother, then the child’s anxiety only increases. 
During the experiment, Michael Mini changed rats: he gave the child to the “cold” mother affectionate and tender. As a result, he became calm and did not feel stress in pregnancy. Thus, it was proved that the caress of the mother (or another member of the family) is able to reduce the level of stress in pregnancy even not in her / her own blood child.

The causes of stress in pregnancy are different, most importantly their own protective mechanisms

- To begin with, we list the reasons that lead to stresses in pregnancy with the maximum level of experiences (according to the Holmes and Ray Stress Scale, points are awarded if this event occurred within 12 months):
  • loss of a close relative (63)
  • personal injury or illness (53)
  • cheating (73)
  • dismissal from work (47)
The following are less stressful (but common) causes:
  • changes in financial status (38)
  • trouble with the boss (23)
  • Disagreement with Husband's Relatives (29)
- These stresses should be avoided (if possible) during pregnancy. It is also important how a woman herself relates to stress factors, what are her psychological defense mechanisms. Plus, how the body reacts to a particular situation (how hormones are produced).

Here are some signs of a future mother’s chronic stress:

  • Harassing thoughts that are impossible to get rid of (that everything is bad and nothing can be changed)
  • Increased Anxiety and Irresistible Fear
  • Constant fatigue, sleep and appetite disturbances, in severe conditions - loss of interest in life: agedonia, when the expectant mother is unlearned to receive joy from life
  • Nervousness, fussiness, desire to control everything, inability to relax
  • Attachment of autonomic symptoms: palpitations, pressure drops, headaches
  • It is curious that often experienced expectant mothers (re-pregnant) experience more than "newcomers".

The future mother herself decides what will be stress for her and what will not

There are a lot of factors influencing stress in pregnancy. For some, a black cat crossing the road will be a stress factor. But for some, no.
A crowded vehicle or a rude driver on the road may cause some people excitement and anxiety, while others may only smile. This is why it is so important to learn how to control stress.
- You decide whether an angry driver or a nervous woman in a bus will be a stress factor for you. By the way, it is hardest for women with "excellent students" syndrome during pregnancy. those who are used to doing everything impeccably. While waiting for the baby it is almost impossible. With the body, completely new things happen and there is no way to control every moment.

Ways to deal with stress in pregnant women:

  • Most people (pregnant women are no exception) are afraid of something unknown. The way out is to receive information from verified sources. No need to read the forums, it’s better to ask your doctor questions about your condition. Find information from experts on quality sites about pregnancy, childbirth and child development.
  • Get positive emotions and focus on pleasant moments throughout the day. For example, go in for creativity, often walk in the fresh air, admire the beautiful (in the theater, botanical garden, park). And in the evening before going to bed, do not scroll through troubles and disturbing thoughts, but remember what was pleasant that happened to you during the day. This will allow you to reconfigure the overall emotional background.
  • It is advisable to take the situation under possible control. When we “hide” from a problem, the level of stress increases. For example, before giving birth, you can go to pregnancy courses. There you will be told about several delivery scenarios. And when your time comes, you will know how to behave.
  • Find social support. Husband, mom, sister, friends. We need people who will be “on the same wavelength” with you, who will be able to support you at a difficult moment, to cheer you up. Other future mothers who can best understand the changes that are happening to you now, will encourage and support, even if it will be virtual chatting. Technology now allows it.
  • Activate the parasympathetic nervous system. For example, learn breathing practices and relaxation techniques. Learn to breathe slowly, deeply, belly. The exhalation should be longer than the inspiration. You can master the technique from yoga teachers. The relaxation technique also works well: tension, and then muscle relaxation in order from the feet to the crown of the head)
  • Learn to relate to any adverse external factor. Keep your focus on what's more important right now. A healthy pregnancy is a priority for a future mother. Accordingly, do not let the emotions of the inadequate woman on the bus, the evil boss, the nervous driver on the road through you. Proper focus can also be learned.
  • Pay attention to proper nutrition: foods rich in vitamin B (cereals, nuts), foods with selenium, calcium, magnesium (dairy products, eggs, rabbit meat).

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