There are stresses in every day life that we cannot avoid. But did you know that excessive stress can harm your child and even cause stillbirth?
STUDY: Higher stillbirth risk for mothers experiencing excessive stress
How to relax during pregnancy
What is stillbirth and some ways to prevent it
It is known to us all that stress can be a killer. It lowers the immunity we have in our bodies, and causes us to have breakdowns. In this newest study, it shows that there is still a higher risk for those mothers that are in excessively stressful situations.
Unemployment which is rampant during this time of pandemic is one of the biggest sources of stress that pregnant women have. According to this article, “scientists from Tommy’s Maternal and Fetal Health Research Centre at the University of Manchester studied more than 1,000 births across 41 UK hospitals between 2014 and 2016.” It is seen that women in more deprived socio-economic group have triple the number of stillbirths compared to those women who were more affluent.
Is there more than one kind of stress?
The stress is not only psychological, but also brought on through physical stress. These are in instances where there is domestic abuse as well.
Abuse and stress can also come from not only physical abuse but also emotional abuse. When women during pregnancy are being put into a stressful situation, it harms her physicality and thus, the baby. The baby still relies on her for nutrients and food while it is developing in her womb. A pregnant woman that is stressed out due to either of these scenarios may be inadvertently harming her child.
Domestic abuse, physical, psychological and emotional can be contributors to stillbirth
Stillbirth occurs when a pregnancy is terminated from week 24 onwards. There are several reasons why this may occur, but some of these reasons are preventable. Some things that a mother can do is to sleep on her side, stop smoking (if she’s a smoker) cigarettes or vaping, and counting her baby’s kicks daily, or as often as possible.
A strong antenatal care routine is also encouraged, but seeing as it is a pandemic, mothers are now more hesitant to go to hospitals or clinics. Some doctors even discourage visits unless absolutely necessary.
Jane Brewin is the chief executive of Tommy’s Maternal and Fetal Health Research Centre. In the article, she says that the relationship between the number of stillbirths and social stresses are still very complex. It needs further study as it is seen that there does seem to be an impact on the statistics on stillbirth.
Pregnant women in stressful situations may not only be harming themselves but also their child.
How can we lessen stresses that cause stillbirths?
For now, it seems that pregnant women should be vigilant about their pregnancy and practice the prevention methods. As mentioned above, these are counting your baby’s kicks, sleeping on your side, and if you are a smoker, to quit.
Based on this study it also means to find a way to ensure that check ups with your doctor is still consistent. If you are in a situation where there is domestic abuse, try to contact local police or groups for abused women for help.
To read more on stillbirths and what you can do, click here.