Maternal Stress During Pregnancy

Submitted by Nick on January 18, 2012

A woman when confirmed pregnant has to be very careful of everything she does and eats.It is a 24 hour job as she has to not only worry about herself but also her baby.Anything she eats becomes food for the growing child inside. However this is not limited to her diet and physical care. It is equally important for the pregnant woman to be mentally and emotionally fit. Many doctors today believe that the child's health and personality depend more on the food and the mother's mental health rather than the genes a child will inherit. It is important for a pregnant woman to be stress free throghout the pregnancy.

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However she cannot achieve this on her own, her spouse and the entire family play an important role in this process.

There are a number of reasons why pregnant women could have extreme stress during pregnancy. It could be because of physical or emotional abuse, unhelpful partners or family members, infidelity, death of a very important person and many more.


Life can bring many stressful situations due to which she can experience loneliness, shame, depression, and unhappiness. If a pregnant mother faces stress during her pregnancy it can have a lot of negative effects on the baby as it faces a lot of stress hormones and malnutrition when in the mother's womb. This eventually can make the baby temperamental, hyperactive, underactive, and even inattentive. It can also contribute to low self esteem and poor self control which in turn can affect the child's life and future. There is a hormone called Cortisol which is released from the adrenal gland during stress.

If excessive amount of this hormone reaches the fetal brain, it may cause high blood pressure. If a pregnant woman develops high blood pressure due to stress, it is passed on to the unborn child this could lead to high blood pressure problems for the child in the future. Extreme stress during pregnancy can affect the baby in other ways as well. The child can have low IQ, an underdeveloped nervous system which can affect the child's memory, perception and simple thinking. Low birth weight, sleeping problems and deformed ears, feet and fingers could be some effects of stress. Hence, the spouse and family should be very careful about whatever is said or discussed with a pregnant woman.

They should be loving, understanding, patient, helpful and encouraging not only with her diet but also emotionally. Always remember that a happy child will come from a happy mother.

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