Psychological Changes During Pregnancy
According to Psychologist Laura M. Glynn of Chapman University, “Pregnancy is a critical period for central nervous development in mothers.” Psychologically speaking, the incorporation of a stranger in your body and future life is the main challenge presented before a pregnant woman and her husband.
There is a tremendous change in the hormonal secretions during pregnancy. This is the only time in the life of a woman when she faces massive hormonal fluctuations. The upheaval of pregnancy makes nearly all women emotionally fragile and sensitive. Research has suggested that the reproductive hormones prepare a woman’s brain for the demands and tasks of impending motherhood.
The changing size and shape of body may make some women feel awkward about them. They may think that they are no more attractive in the eyes of their partners. In many societies pregnancy is still associated with social stigmas. A pregnant woman is not deemed fit to work.
A pregnant woman is treated differently outside and in the work place. If you are in your late trimester, then your colleagues may show anxiousness towards your well -being, in turn affecting your work efficiency.
Thanks to the hormones, you will feel an emotional turmoil building within you. The changes during pregnancy make all women feel emotionally fragile, prone to crying and feelings of panic. Even in the healthiest of pregnancies, the pregnant woman feels some confusion and extreme mood swings.
Feelings about Your Partner
The emotional upheaval brings many changes for you and your partner as a couple. There are a lot of demands on your relationship and you expect a lot and at times, unrealistically from your partner. The reality of approaching parenthood sometimes causes tension. Strengthening the bond while coming to terms with pregnancy in the initial stages of pregnancy may prove claustrophobic and there may be a lot of friction and conflict between the mother and the father.
There are a lot of anxieties related to your baby during pregnancy. The first trimester is marked with an apprehension of losing your baby, or a miscarriage. The second trimester is a trimester of general well -being and health. The third term brings with itself anxieties towards delivery and labor. You start nurturing anxieties as to whether your baby will have any kind of abnormalities, whether you will be a capable parent, or whether you will be able to cope with the day to day care. If there has been a previous infertility, then the anxiety of pregnancy assumes a different meaning altogether.
Dreams during pregnancy may be disturbing or even have a purpose of their own. You may dream about losing the baby, or dropping your baby, or a baby that is stillborn. These dreams represent a perfectly legitimate fear that you have at the back of your mind. Sometimes you even dream of hurting yourself and in turn your baby as well.
Dreams may be considered as a release for your anxieties. It is a healthy symptom of wanting to do the best for your baby. Every pregnant woman at some stage worries about something being wrong with the baby, and these dreams are part of an understandable concern for the baby’s well-being.
There are concerns about labor as well. Anxiety related to behavior, the ability to bear pain, and losing control are normal human concerns.
What to Do about These Psychological Changes
-Believe in yourself and your image.
-Try to be positive.
-Involve your-self in some pleasurable aspect of preparing for the baby’s arrival.
-Talk to your partner. Be generous towards your partner.
-Encourage yourself to take a general interest in looking good, eating healthy and keeping fit.
-You can also go for pregnancy support counseling.
-Discuss your issues with a psychologist, friend, colleague, partner and other parents.
There are definitive findings on the effect of the prenatal environment on the baby. There is full correlation between life inside the uterus and life outside. There are evidences that maternal anxiety early in gestation takes its toll on the baby’s cognitive development, and high levels of stress hormones late in pregnancy also enhance it.
There is new scientific evidence that the way a mother affects her fetus, in a similar way the fetus affects its mother!