Pregnancy is the most wonderful, purest time in a woman’s life. This phrase is heard by every woman who is at a noticeable period of pregnancy. It is natural, it is beautiful, it is the renewal of the body. Nature gifted a woman with this ability and modern times should provide everything to enjoy its course. However, matter how natural the process of bearing a child is, it is by no means easy.
It doesn’t matter if a woman carries a native child or acts as a surrogate mother, she still has to deal with a number of unpleasant circumstances that accompany pregnancy. And this is not about toxicosis and unusual taste preferences. Bearing a child is a serious stress for the female body. Big changes, both hormonal and psychological, are fast to hit the expectant mother’s organism. But people are different, and life circumstances also come in different shapes.
Alcohol & Smoking
We all know that alcohol is prohibited for pregnant women. It can damage the embryo early on – it is not filtered by the placenta, which means it quickly enters the baby’s blood. One of the main dangers of alcohol is one of its decay products – acetaldehyde. It has a destructive power both in relation to the nervous system of the child and the mother. All in all, drinking alcohol while carrying a baby can lead to mutations in the intrauterine development of the fetus as well as greatly disrupt the already delicate nervous system of a woman.
As for smoking, it is very important to understand that nicotine is a powerful vasoconstrictor. It narrows the capillaries, veins, and arteries. Of course, all this falls on the lot of the baby, whose mother could not deny herself a bad habit.
A great risk is a fetal hypoxia, that is, suffocation. In addition, a pregnant smoker may experience weakness, dizziness, lack of oxygen, pain in the limbs precisely because nicotine squeezes oxygen out of a weakened body.
Surely, any doctor will insist that a woman, having learned about pregnancy, must quit such bad habits as drinking alcohol and smoking. But for many people, this seems beyond the power of will. Therefore, experts recommend seeking specialized help from a doctor in an antenatal clinic where they will be able to approach this issue with the competence of the appropriate specialists.
Hormonal “American Rides”
A thing that all husbands and relatives are so afraid – hormonal slides – are faced by every other pregnant woman to a lesser or greater extent. Sensations of vulnerability, sensitivity, tendency to cry, often for no reason. All of these sensations are far from unreasonable, however. After all, the whole body is tuned to the process of bearing and the hormonal background of a woman varies greatly based on that.
And the woman is experiencing a strong emotional shock. Now, she is not what she was really, the body is changing, it is becoming literally a stranger, it seems that everything in life happens without the direct participation of the woman herself. Many are scared when they think about what they can give the newborn, both psychologically and genetically. A critical view of the world appears in which a new person will have to be brought.
These changes, questions, doubts are absolutely natural. Both for mothers who bear their own baby and for surrogate mothers. Female hormones can literally endure a woman’s brain. Irresistible feelings of jealousy, anger, irritation with instant transformation into unbridled joy, euphoria, tenderness – these are typical hormonal slides.
Thus, a woman needs to treat her psychological health with understanding and due attention. Try to share your feelings more with your loved ones and let them help, support as much as they can.
Specifics of Mental Health During Pregnancy
When a woman expects a baby, she often does not feel well. Such phenomena as nausea, dizziness, fastidiousness in food, inconvenience due to weight gain and body position constantly accompany pregnancy. And this leads to the accumulation of psychological disorders.
Of course, you can often get by with the help of loved ones, who carefully and patiently listen to complaints and try to minimize discomfort. But still, there are times when the help of a psychologist is in place.
Studies prove that the psycho-emotional state of a pregnant woman seriously affects the development of the fetus and the preparation for childbirth and motherhood. A favorable psychological state reduces the number of complications and positively affects the development of the child after birth.
Inexplicable anxiety, unstable emotional state, causeless anxiety, with which the pregnant woman cannot cope on her own or with the help of loved ones must be examined by a psychologist.
Surely, all expectant mothers are tormented by doubts about the well-being and normality of the unborn child, and this is normal. But if these suppressive conditions do not go away or drag on for too long, you should contact a specialist to avoid serious psychological disorders.
There are several tips & exercises for harmonizing the mental state
- Get out into the countryside, go out of town into the fresh air more often
- Listen to more of your favorite music, especially if it evokes pleasant memories and associations;
- Practice the technique of “Inner Smile” morning and evening. This is a psychological exercise, like meditation: you need to focus on the area of the heart and smile with your whole body, each cell, and each organ for about 5 minutes. The exercise should provide relaxation in the body and make you calmer as a whole.
- Coloring mandalas. This is an old technique, from time immemorial, women in the tribe painted this symmetrical pattern, located in a circle as a symbol of the protection of the mother’s womb. This contributes to the internal psychological space.
Pregnancy & Drugs
But still, no matter how harmless at first glance the anxious state of a pregnant woman may seem, it can have a serious background. In recent years, more and more women have learned about such an unpleasant diagnosis as bipolar disorder precisely during the gestation of the baby.
Bipolar affective disorder (BAD) is one of the most difficult mental conditions for treatment, which leads to a significant change in mood, including manic and even depressive attacks.
Often, women do not understand what happens to them during pregnancy. It is as if hormones are raging and the mood is falling, and everything around is annoying. But these conditions do not pass and only intensify. Bad thoughts come to mind, the situation is aggravated. This may be a sign of the BAD.
Women who already know that they have a BAD and wish to have a baby should plan their pregnancy in advance. To avoid unpleasant surprises and establish the right treatment, you need to see a doctor. They will be able to develop a treatment plan that will provide the baby and mother with a safe pregnancy. This plan often includes:
- Switch for more advanced medication
- Custom medications for custom cases
- Introduction of health supplements
- Attentive leisure & daily health care
Frequently, doctors completely change the diet of the pregnant woman, and also regularly monitor all changes in the state of her health, both physical and psychological.
Thus, we approached the most complex and dangerous topic regarding pregnancy. Drug addiction. It seems that no one doubts whether drugs are a contraindication to bearing a child. Absolutely yes.
Numerous studies have proven that most drugs have a detrimental effect on the fetus. Women who used drugs during pregnancy or even shortly before conception are highly likely to experience complications in the course of bearing a child. High health risks await both the baby and the mother.
There are substances that cause nutrient deficiencies and anemia. Moreover, the effect can be lightning fast. Slow fetal development is also very common, and women often develop unbearable preeclampsia (late toxicosis of pregnant women).
Is it possible to efficiently avoid the dire consequences of drug addiction in pregnancy? Modern medicine is encouraging – risks can be minimized. First of all, you need to completely stop taking any drugs even before conception.
If pregnancy is a surprise, you should immediately end the drug. And you should definitely be honest with your doctor. It is necessary to tell what specific drugs were used to determine the risk zone. It will be necessary to pass a number of tests and undergo a small examination.
The situation becomes much more complicated if the expectant mother cannot end drug addiction. And this is not uncommon today. In this case, a woman needs to seek outside help from a special center where such people are not only helped to part with their addiction, but they are also supported throughout the pregnancy.
In conclusion, I want to note that pregnancy is a wonderful, unique period in a woman’s life, but it still requires close attention to health. And this is not only about the risks associated with the intrauterine development of the baby.
After all, a woman’s health is subject to great risks during this period as well. It is worth listening to your condition, controlling mood swings, asking for help from relatives, or even a doctor if something worries. Only an attentive attitude to your body will bring a good result – good baby health and trouble-free pregnancy for mom.
About The Author
Barbara Elliott works as an operating nurse at New-Life.ua reproductive medicine clinic. This infertility center offers surrogacy services, IVF, egg donation for infertility treatment for those who want to become parents