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Pregnancy is a special time not only for the women, but for the entire family. During pregnancy, most of us try and give extra importance to our diet and exercise. A mother will go to great lengths to ensure that her baby is healthy. But did you know that your mental health and emotional state can also affect your baby’s future health?
As a mom-to-be, you often feel that your baby can understand emotions in the womb. He seems to kick more enthusiastically when you are happy, and is restless to play with you when you feel like sleeping! Did you know, mom, that these feelings are not your imagination but actually true? Science has established that your emotional health has a definite impact on your baby’s future health and development. This means that if you are going through sadness, your little one can pick up on it too, and ditto for happiness!
How Emotions during Pregnancy Affects the Baby
The Association for Psychological Science recently conducted a research that concluded that embryos as young as 6 months are affected by your feelings and emotions during pregnancy. Not only that, your emotional health tends to form your baby’s attitude for life even before he’s born! Here are the types of emotional states during pregnancy that can out your baby at risk for physical and emotional problems later in life. If you are a mom-to-be or know someone who is, be wary of these and the lasting effect they can have on your baby
1. Stressed out moms can induce anxiety and colic in their babies
As a mom, you can’t pass your emotions through the placenta, but you do pass your hormones to your baby. The occasional stress and anxiety during pregnancy is common, but long term stress can result in your baby being anxious and colicky. This is because the stress hormone is passed regularly and results in the baby facing chronic stress later in life.
2. If the mom-to-be is depressed during or after pregnancy, it affects the baby’s development
Depression during pregnancy is extremely common. As common as postpartum depression, over 10 percent of moms are depressed during pregnancy. This depression can affect your baby too. If you are depressed during and after pregnancy, your baby can show similar symptoms at birth. Additionally, depression can affect your baby’s development after birth too depending on its consistency. The study proves that even if the mom was healthy during pregnancy but depressed after birth, the baby’s development slowed down. The converse also holds true! ||
3. Moms who feel resentment when expecting could have babies prone to emotional problems
With all the hormonal changes, it is not unusual for some women to feel resentment towards their pregnancy and their unborn baby. While this resentment might go away at birth, the damage has already been done. The study found that moms who felt resentment during pregnancy had babies who faced emotional problems in their life.
4. All moms-to-be experience occasional sadness and that’s fine – your baby understands and is not affected by it
The occasional sadness and crying jags during pregnancy are extremely common. Don’t worry though. While prolonged state of negative emotional health can affect your baby, the occasional sad spells don’t affect your baby in the long term!
To prevent your baby from being affected by your mental state, get happy. Positive thinking and emotions help nurture a healthier baby, so pamper yourself with things that make you happy during your pregnancy – don’t hold back! Take long baths, learn yoga and meditation, read a happy book! Take help if required – consult your doctor for pregnancy-safe anti-depressants if needed but maintain a positive emotional state! While these measures may seem a bit too much, don’t let it stop you. If we can go to any lengths for our baby’s happiness, we sure can take these measures for his future health too.