This article explains the causes of stress during pregnancy and its effects on the fetus. From morning sickness in the early stages of pregnancy to changes in hormone balance, pregnancy can cause a variety of physical and mental problems.
What are the effects of such stress on the fetus? Let’s take a look.
- Effects of Stress During Pregnancy on the Fetus
- Why you may feel stressed during pregnancy
- Causes of Stress During Pregnancy
Effects of Stress During Pregnancy on the Fetus
Although stress during pregnancy is unavoidable, too much stress can have a negative impact on the baby.
Not only does stress pose a risk of impending premature birth and pregnancy-induced hypertension, but it has also been reported that children of mothers who experienced high levels of anxiety and stress during pregnancy are more likely to be emotionally unstable.
Why you may feel stressed during pregnancy
Pregnancy is a very short time in our lives. During this precious time, it is best to spend it peacefully and enjoy the growth of your baby. However, there are many mothers who feel stressed during pregnancy, and many of them cannot control their emotions well and end up hitting the people around them.
Frustration during pregnancy is unavoidable because everyone is in a state of stress during pregnancy for the following reasons. Please do not blame yourself too much.
Hormonal balance changes
When you become pregnant, the balance of female hormones in your body changes dramatically. There are two types of female hormones, estrogen, and progesterone, and a woman’s regular sexual cycle is caused by changes in the balance of both.
Estrogen is a hormone that promotes egg maturation, endometrial growth, and ovulation, and is secreted in large amounts during the two weeks between the start of menstruation and ovulation. Progesterone helps to mature the endometrium to a state suitable for implantation and is secreted in greater amounts after ovulation and before menstruation.
If implantation does not occur, the amount of progesterone secreted decreases drastically and the mature endometrium peels off, resulting in menstruation. On the other hand, if implantation occurs (i.e., pregnancy occurs), both estrogen and progesterone secretion increase dramatically in order to maintain the pregnancy.
However, it is believed that progesterone suppresses the secretion of a brain transmitter called serotonin, which calms the mind. Therefore, during pregnancy, when progesterone is secreted in large amounts, even the slightest thing can cause irritation.
Lack of sleep
During pregnancy, you may suffer from difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep. In the early stages of pregnancy, you may have trouble sleeping due to morning sickness and other health problems. From the middle of pregnancy onward, you may wake up several times during the night due to fetal movements and frequent urination.
Chronic sleep deprivation not only causes a great deal of stress but also disturbs the balance of the autonomic nervous system. As a result, you will often feel depressed over small things, or conversely, irritated over things that would not normally bother you.
This can lead to a vicious cycle of stress, which further disturbs the autonomic nerve balance…
Causes of Stress During Pregnancy
Pregnancy can be a stressful time, but it can also be compounded by a number of anxieties and worries that contribute to stress. Whether you are pregnant for the first time or the second time or later, you will feel some anxiety and worry about childbirth and childcare.
According to one survey, the causes and degree of stress vary greatly depending on whether a woman is working or not during pregnancy. 82.1% of pregnant women who were working said that they were stressed about their pregnancy, while only 71.4% of pregnant women who were housewives said that they were stressed about their pregnancy.
Causes of Stress in Pregnant Women who Work
With the number of dual-earner households now exceeding half, the number of women who work during pregnancy is increasing. The most common cause of stress for these pregnant women is anxiety about returning to work after maternity leave and balancing work with child-rearing.
Financial concerns during maternity leave and concern for co-workers also ranked high, with more than 80% of respondents feeling stressed by the anxiety that comes with working.
In addition, 60-70% of pregnant women feel anxiety about morning sickness and other health problems, childbirth, and childcare, and they are simultaneously dealing with anxiety related to work and stress related to pregnancy and childbirth itself.
Causes of stress in pregnant women who are housewives
Pregnant women who do not work are more likely to feel stressed by anxiety and worries related to pregnancy and childbirth itself because they do not have work-related stress.
In particular, as many as 80% of mothers feel stressed about “anxiety about morning sickness and other physical changes,” and anxiety about childbirth and childcare, as well as about the condition of their babies, is also greater than that of pregnant women who are working.
Stress on partners is a common factor
In a research survey of 573 pregnant women, the most common cause of stress was reported to be the husband.
It seems that the lack of understanding and support for pregnancy from one’s partner often causes stress, but since men cannot get pregnant, it may be understandable that they do not really understand the hardships of pregnancy.
There are also women who find their partners physiologically unacceptable and become irritated by their very existence. If this is the case, try to get away from your partner, even if it is only for a moment, by making time to be alone in the house or leaving the housework to someone else and going out.
You will feel refreshed and your frustration will subside somewhat.
It’s pretty normal that you feel stressed during pregnancy due to the hormone balance first. And you may feel irritated by your partner somehow, so you need to make your own time by yourself to refresh your mind.