In every culture, motherhood is considered as the highest achievement for a woman.
But with fast-changing believes people forget the pain a woman goes through the entire pregnancy cycle. It is creating more stress among women during the pregnancy that is also causing problems to the newborn. During pregnancy, if there is any health-related issue of a mother then becomes the problem for the child.
As per the world health organization about 10% of pregnant women and 13% of women who have just given the birth experience a mental disorder. The most cases are of depression. The developing countries have higher psychological disorder rates of 15.6% during pregnancy and 19.8% after childbirth. Also, they show about 20% symptoms of clinical depression after delivery.
World Health Organization also states that the affected mothers cannot function properly. As a result, the children’s growth and development may be negatively affected as well.
The worst effect of depression is that it takes away mother’s attention from child’s need.
The situations for stress development leading to distorted mental conditions during pregnancy vary as per different social environment. It may even differ from home to home within a society.
Common Mental Problems Women Face During Pregnancy:
- Mood Swings
- Self Centeredness
- Lack Of Clarity
- Hallucination like incidences
I did my small survey with some friends and asked them to tick the most common mental health issues they encountered during their pregnancy. My first help was my mother; she has given birth to 8 children.
With this small survey, I found that first pregnancy is the most stressing time for all the women. It is true irrespective of whether they live in a joint family or nuclear family. Most women are scared of the physical and mental changes they go through in this period, as it is entirely new phase for them for them. But during the second period, it is easier to handle the situation.
Some Of The Common Reasons Why Women Suffer From Mental Stress During Pregnancy:
Lack Of Awareness-
Pregnancy not only means a change in the social scene but also results in many physical and emotional changes in a woman’s life. Modern day women are not aware of situations that may arise which raise their anxiety.
Fear Of Cesarean Delivery-
The fear of complications during pregnancy already scares the women. Also, doctors in many places go for the easy option of cesarean delivery over the normal birth which is most common these days in the developing countries.
There is a rise in the levels of estrogen and progesterone which causes many physical changes in the body of a woman. They help prepare the body for the baby and the later stages of the delivery. These changes also lead to the subtle change in the moods of the pregnant lady.
A pregnant lady also goes through changes at the physical levels. The breast size increases, shortness of breath, leg cramps, pains throughout the body, frequent urination, weight gain, fluid retention, swollen hands, and legs, etc. Even the bones become thinner due to high need for calcium in the development of the baby too. Not everyone can understand these changes which cause increased stress.
A pregnant woman suffers from constant mood swings. When the family environment is terrible, then it causes higher mental health issues. Among the nuclear family, it is a common phenomenon that women feel loneliness and increased anxiety in the absence of their husbands.
It is very common to see modern day women working. Any issue on the work front raises the mental stress which is amplified during pregnancy. Many companies are now trying to restore a better balance in their office environment.
Simple steps you can take to maintain positive attitude and mind frame during pregnancy:
Being Mentally Ready-
When you are mentally prepared to be a mother. You can handle most of the anxiety easily. Sometimes people plan for a child under pressure from family and other peers. In such cases, they show more mental stress. Do not bow down to any pressure but sit together to plan your life.
Working women often do not take rest which is required to help them energize. Resting improves the overall physical as well as the mental conditions. While you are resting, you are also giving your body enough time to heal any ailments.
Eating Healthy Foods-
What we eat also has an impact on our mental state. Thus healthy eating improves our health and even psychological well-being. Growing fetus requires various nutrients. Diet must contain potassium-rich banana, legumes rich in protein, dairy products providing calcium and green vegetables. Eating raw fruits is a great habit.
Reading Positive Books-
Pregnant ladies should read motivational and positive stories. They should read positive poems which help them feel upbeat and stay positive. Even watching excellent and inspirational movies and images help boost the mental state.
Listening To Soothing Music-
Music has a calming effect on our mind and soul. It also helps relieve the stress. Listen to the soft and upbeat music which fills your mind with happiness.
Sharing Your Problems-
Often ladies do not share their feelings and worries. It slowly builds up the mental stress causing depression and anxiety. Speaking to the elder women of the family, community or even friends can help ease the signs of psychological stress. You will also get a better perspective from the woman who has already gone through this stage.
Practicing mindfulness through meditation is a beautiful method to keep mind stress free. Develop a habit of meditation at least 15 minutes daily.
Mild yoga and some light exercises increase your body stamina. Also keeps you fit during the later stages of pregnancy. Consult an expert to help you do the exercise. A fit body means a happy mind too. You can also go for small walks into the gardens. Nature has a calming effect on the brain.
Role Of Husband And Family:
Having a baby is never a woman’s only responsibility. It is a joint responsibility of husband and all other family members. The creation of a new life is a beautiful experience. And it requires full support from everyone.The husband should also learn that his wife will go through some changes both physically and mentally. Also, her needs will change. This is very important in the families where only two people are there. Even in a bigger family a constant talking with the pregnant wife gives her much needed emotional support.A pregnant woman needs support from husband to in-laws regarding emotions and other work at home. One can share happy moments and images of babies to keep them happy. All these efforts even help the growing baby inside the mother.A happy mother is a happy child, and this is possible by the joint efforts of everyone from mother to the people around her.While writing this article I came to know a lot of problems that a woman goes through to become a mother. Wholehearted respect to all the mothers in the world and I hope this article helps you keep a positive mindset.
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