Can Stress Cause Preterm Labour?

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Can Stress Cause Preterm Labour?

Nine months of careful consideration generally follows the good news of a baby-to-come in the family. Whether it is food, health or language, people are extremely cautious to provide the best for their baby. But what do you do about the things you can’t control. Stress is one of the most unwelcome aspects of one’s life, especially while they’re supporting another life. Theories suggest that stress not only affect the health of both mother and child but also can also affect the labour cycle. Can stress cause you to go into labour? That’s the central question, and the following article will explain everything.

How To Identify Stress And Its Effects On Pregnancy?

To understand what repercussions the stress of a mother-to-be can have, one must understand what stress is and how it affects your body. When a woman goes through stress, the body releases stress hormones called cortisol. The increase of cortisol can be the cause of hypertension, diabetes and even cause a miscarriage, among other unfortunate consequences.

There are two categories of stress: Acute and Chronic. Acute stress refers to the kind that is temporary and doesn’t cause the body to react for very long. A tiff with a relative or an upcoming presentation can lead to acute stress. Chronic, on the other hand, refers to ongoing external problems in the woman’s life that can affect the body maliciously over time. Passing away of a close one or involvement in a prolonged court case are examples scenarios that cause chronic stress.

Although there has been no proof of stress directly affecting the change in labour, it does take a physical toll on the body, which in turn, might affect the labour process. But the question to ask is- Can stress cause premature labour?

Acute stress does not affect the body to a large extent. However, chronic stress can create fake contractions, also known as Braxton Hicks contractions.

How To Reduce Stress During Pregnancy?

In addition to a healthy diet and a regular sleep cycle, some measures can be taken by a pregnant woman to ensure that she remains calm and avoids stress while carrying the child.

1. Meditate

Pregnant Woman Meditating

A moment away from the responsibilities and duties of daily life, one of the best ways to calm oneself down is to sit in one place in a comfortable position and take deep breaths. One can play soft music in the background to further create a serene environment. Ocean sounds or rain sounds are popularly known to create a calm, stress-free zone.

2. Visit A Counsellor

Professional help can never go wrong. A trip to the counsellor may help get things of one’s chest and get expert advice on how to deal with the situation, especially with the child on the way.

3. Journal thoughts

Pregnant Woman Writing

Penning down one’s feelings is one of the best ways to review and analyse a situation. It helps one vent without feeling the need to be politically correct or moral. It is one of the rawest forms of expression. Journaling thoughts is an excellent way for a mother-to-be to jot down what bothers her and pour out her emotions when required.

4. Use Epsom Salts

Famously known to melt away problems, baths with Epsom salts help get some time alone and relax in the water.  Epsom salts contain magnesium and sulphate that get soaked into the skin and help relax the nervous system and ease muscle strains.

5. Exercise With Yoga

Pregnant Women Exercising Yoga

While physical training might be strenuous and not recommended while carrying a child, yoga might be a great way to exercise to avoid too much pressure on the body. However, talk to your obstetrician before taking up any exercise, including yoga.

6. Plan And Budget Ahead Of Time

A lot of the stress faced by a woman during the later years of pregnancy occurs due to financial constraints and disorganised, loose plans. Planning and budgeting for the future in the earlier months of pregnancy helps prevent avoidable mistakes later.

7. Laugh

Laughing Pregnant Woman

Even though laughing may sound a little absurd in a stressful situation, it is a proven fact that it helps reduce stress. It decreases stress hormones and releases endorphins in the body that help calm the body. So, grab a tub of popcorn and binge watch the best of comedy.

Pregnancy has a lot of complications. Stress can only add to that, which is beneficial to neither the mother nor the baby. Hence, all one can do is stay calm and take up different activities to avoid any tension and maintain a favourable environment for mother-child.

Also Read: Ways to Prevent a Preterm Labour

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