The American Medical Association stated that stress is a factor in more than 75% of illness today. The World Health Organization stated that stress is America’s #1 health problem. The Center for Disease Control stated that the number one prescribed class of drugs in the United States today is antidepressants. Guess what triggers depression? The body’s hormonal response to stress.
What is stress? Stress can be defined as your internal response to events both internal and external that are happening in your life. Your spouse loses their job, the death of a loved one, an unreasonable work deadline. You get the picture. All of these are stressors that elicit a stress response in the body. So how do these stressors affect your pregnancy?
According to a July, 2010 article published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, stress does impact your pregnancy. According to the study, there was an increase risk of preterm birth among women with higher levels of life stress in the first and second trimester. Each unit increase of perceived life events stress during the first trimester was associated with a 99.09g (approximately .2 lbs ) decrease in infant birth weight.
Since total elimination of stress is impossible, what does a baby momma do to balance out stress that can have a negative impact on her pregnancy?
Dr. Malley’s stress tool box
1. Prayer. God never gives us more than we can handle. Begin your day with it, end your day with it, and any other time of day you feel like you need to pray.
2. Take care of yourself. Chiropractic care is important for maintaining spinal alignment that helps your body respond to the stressors you face every day. Massage therapy is also a great way to reduce the build up of physical, mental stressors that bombard you throughout the day.
2. Build a support system externally. Choose people to be in your life that will be a support network for you while you are pregnant. We all need to have people in our lives for support and companionship. Do not try and go through your pregnancy without this.
3. Nutrition, nutrtition, nutrition. I can’t say it enough, how you are what you eat. A nutrient dense food program provides your body with the vitamins and minerals it needs to have a healthy stress response.
4. Rest. Give yourself time to rest and recover from each stressful event or day. Make sure to limit your schedule when possible to avoid stress overload. Establish a pre-bedtime routine that includes relaxation that will help you unwind from the day.
5. Counseling. Seek additional support if you are feeling overwhelmed. Our office can refer you to a counselor in your area. Professional help is beneficial for not only providing you with support, but helping you with coping strategies or developing skills that will enable you to handle stressors in a healthier way.
Remember, we are here to help you have a healthy pregnancy naturally. This article is not a replacement for medical care, it is written for informational purpose only.
“Prenatal life events stress: implications for preterm birth and infant birthweight,” American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Volume 203, Issue 1, Pages 34.e1-34.e8 (July 2010) Peng Zhu, MD, et. al.