The daily pressures of life we face are inevitable. Frequent repetition of the stressful response gradually creates a predisposition to diseases. However, for the sake of her unborn baby and her family, the expectant mother needs to be able to maintain her balance.
When a pregnant woman is stressed, anxious, or scared, the stress hormones released into her blood pass from the baby’s placenta. The unborn baby responds to the stress similarly experienced by his mother. Under intense, stressful conditions, the fetus activates its own “fight or flight” response, and often this reaction puts it in a state of exhaustion.
It would be good for expectant mothers to notice the pressures they are under during the week and the reactions that their babies experience. Since the unborn baby is a creature with an important level of consciousness, sensitivities, his own thoughts, feelings, and memories, he can experience pleasure, pain, anxiety, and calm, responding to his mother’s experiences and reactions.
The unborn baby cannot exert any control over his mother’s choices, experiences, or reactions towards the world and, for this reason, cannot control the sensations she experiences. If the mother feels stressed, the baby feels precisely the same feeling. It is impossible to ensure that our lives are not stressful, but we can learn how to control better our perception and response to the various, often stressful everyday life challenges.
How will the expectant mother reduce the harmful effects of stress on herself and her baby?
• Every time she experiences a stressful situation, she can take a few deep, slow breaths. Let her feel the oxygen filling her own body and her baby’s.
• The pregnant woman can massage her belly when she notices that she feels stressed. As she rubs her belly, she can assure the baby that they’re both fine.
• She can take time to relax every day.
• She can make sure that she comes into contact with nature every day with walks.
• She can take a warm, aromatic bath.
• She can listen to relaxing music that makes her feel peace and happiness.
• She can try to work out daily with relaxing and not demanding types of exercise (dance, yoga, etc.) to eliminate everyday life’s intensity and not absorb it.
• She can hug a loved one.
• She can try meditation, a process in which heart rates slow down, blood pressure normalizes, breathing calms, and levels of anxiety hormones drop. Meditation helps us be less vulnerable to stressful situations and adapt more quickly to life’s challenges.
Experiencing a pregnancy as calm, peaceful, and relaxed as possible is one of the best gifts a mother can offer her baby, as she will have taught him to face the trials of life with composure, optimism, and a smile.
Chopra D., Simon, D., Abrams, V., – Magical Beginnings, Enchanted Lives.
Mari, I. – Eugonia: Prenatal Education.