Emotional Health During Pregnancy – Chronic Stress and Anxiety Increases
Chronic stress and anxiety increases the risk of preterm labor or low birth weight of the baby. That is why it is essential to take care of yourself both physical and emotionally.
Good emotional health during pregnancy does not mean that you are without worries. Feeling anxious and nervous are normal because, after all, you are bringing a new life into the world. You are going through the most profound experience in life so of course there you are a bundle of emotions right now. It is natural to worry if you are eating right, if your baby is healthy, and if you can meet the challenges of being a mom.
However, if you are constantly consumed by such worries that it interferes with your daily functioning then you have to start dealing with your emotions constructively. According to statistics, one tenth of pregnant women suffer from poor emotional health during pregnancy, which could manifest in many ways.
It is normal for pregnant women to have mood swings because of the surge and fluctuation of hormone levels but if you are extremely moody all the time that could be a sign of poor emotional health, especially if your mood swings occur along with these other symptoms: over fatigue, sleep problems, extreme and persistent feelings of sadness, anxiety and irritability.
Poor emotional health can also be characterized by the inability to focus on a task, the feeling that nothing interests you or uplifts you or a dramatic loss or gain of appetite. If you experience half of the symptoms described above, you may be suffering from clinical depression and you need to consult your health care provider.
There are simple ways to improve emotional health. The simplest way to reduce stress is to take a time out for rest. You need all the rest and relaxation that you can get when you are pregnant so take an afternoon nap or sleep whenever you feel tired. You will feel refreshed in body and mind afterwards.
If your worries are causing you to lose sleep, however, learn to relax your mind through meditation. Look for other ways to get your mind off your anxieties. Express your emotions in a constructive way. For instance, keep a journal or start a hobby like gardening. It is also helpful to join a support group of other moms-to-be. Of course, sharing your feelings with your husband/partner is one of the best ways to stay emotionally healthy during your pregnancy.