Bringing a new person into the world is not an easy task. Pregnant women generally worry about everything. Are the foods you eat healthy enough? Is it safe to exercise? How will you juggle work and parenthood after baby arrives? While some stress during pregnancy is normal, just as it is during other times of life; the situation can get worse if stress becomes severe and constant. It can adversely affect you and your baby.  

 How stressful pregnancy can disturb your baby's brain?

Our body has  a ‘flight mode’, which enables automatically when we are stressed about anything. During this process, our body releases stress hormones as cortisol. These are the same hormones that surge when you are in danger. They prepare you to run by sending a blast of fuel to your muscles and making your heart pump faster.If you can deal with your stress and move on, your stress response will recede and your body will go back into balance. But according to Susan Andrews, a clinical neuropsychologist and author of the book Stress Solutions for Pregnant Moms: How Breaking Free From Stress Can Boost Your Baby’s Potential "the kind of stress that’s really damaging is the kind that doesn’t let up". In long term, stress can alter your body’s potential to handle stress, resulting into your body overreact and trigger an inflammatory response.

Inflammation has always been connected with poor pregnancy health and development problems in babies. There are studies that conclude that higher chronic stressors in women and poor coping skills to deal with those stressors may be associated with lower birth weight and with premature delivery. Chronic stress may also contribute to subtle differences in brain development that might lead to behavioral issues as the baby grows. Research in this area is still early, and doctors still need to figure out the exact link between stress and pregnancy outcomes. Even so, it’s an important factor for pregnant women to consider, especially if they’re dealing with chronic stress -- for example, from financial or relationship troubles.We know that we want to think about how to reduce unhealthy stress and find ways to help women have better coping mechanisms to deal with the stress in their lives. You shouldn’t feel guilty about stress, she adds, but you should try to control it as much as you can.

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How to relax yourself in pregnancy?

1. Seek medical consultation-  When it’s getting hard to control your stress, take a step to get medical help for the same. You need to understand that it’s OK to ask others for solutions, which might include meditation, parental yoga, medicines, or just a heart-to-heart talk. There are a number of drugs to relax the mind, you can get them over-the-counter or buy from a reliable  online pharmacy after consulting your doctor.

2. Find your peace- Every person finds relaxation in one way or the other. If you feel overwhelmed with your pregnancy, you should take some time out and indulge yourself in activities you find peace in. It could be having a warm bath, a cup of coffee at terrace, music, reading a nice book, etc. You can also consider it as your last few days of having ‘me time’ as things are more likely to go here and there after baby arrives.

3. Distract yourself- Remember you always wanted to try your hands on painting; but never got enough time due to studies and work? Since you must be having time to kill, try to distract yourself from anxiety and stress by developing a hobby.

4. Get social- There are many women like you out there, who are as nervous and excited about their babies as you are about yours. You can connect with them on various social media or self help groups and share your feelings with them. Who knows, you get a girlfriend there and your kids share the same bench in school?

 

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