Enjoy a positive pregnancy in tune with your body
Learn to relax during pregnancy and give yourself and your growing baby a healthy rest
Mothers are always told that pregnancy should be a joyous time; that when you are pregnant you 'glow' with health. But many mothers just don't feel that way. For them, pregnancy can feel like an assault upon their body, accompanied by feelings of anxiety, fear and feeling 'yuk'.
Some stress during pregnancy is normal, but too much can be harmful
Research shows us that stress experienced by a woman during pregnancy may affect her unborn baby as early as 17 weeks after conception (1), with potentially harmful effects on brain and development, according to new research. (2) Undue and prolonged mother stress can, it seems, affect the unborn fetus to that extent that its IQ is lowered. Good diet, regular rest and a good positive attitude all help the unborn baby thrive.
It is important to remember that all pregnant mothers are liable to have mood swings. All mums to be will feel worried and stressed sometimes; this is perfectly natural. But prolonged and severe stressful negative feelings can affect mother and baby alike.
How does mothers' stress affect the unborn baby?
Stress during pregnancy and the mother's anxiety may reduce blood flow to the womb and thereby reduce the amount of oxygen and nutrients the baby receives through the placenta. Scans have shown that there is reduced blood flow to the baby in anxious mothers.
Another way that maternal stress during pregnancy can affect the unborn child is via the stress hormone cortisol. Stress hormone in the blood can cross the placenta and affect the brain development in the foetus. Studies have shown that when the level of cortisol is higher in the mother, it will also be higher in blood samples taken from the unborn baby.
Looking after yourself and looking after your unborn baby
Every body needs to relax regularly, to feel supported and secure. But when you are pregnant these needs take extra priority because when you are happier your baby is happier and may also be healthier. Take time to talk with people you feel safe with and make relaxation and rest an important part of your day. Every time you relax deeply your immune system works more powerfully (3) and your heart and lungs have a healthy rest. Regular deep hypnotic relaxation can have a wonderful impact on your baby in the womb.
Regular and wonderfully deep relaxation whilst you are pregnant will free your body and mind to use available energy for restorative functions. When you relax your baby will relax. Relaxation can actually enhance the functioning of your body and mind.
This session Positive pregnancy will give you the opportunity to relax wonderfully deeply, a major boon in itself but will also provide you with unconscious suggestions to feel very positive about your pregnancy.
Download Positive Pregnancy using the button below and enjoy the rest of your pregnancy.
(1) Anxiety during pregnancy can double a mother's risk of having a hyperactive child, according to research released to on 3rd Sept 2007 for National Pregnancy Week. Professor Vivette Glover of Imperial College, London, presented new findings from a study of more than 7,000 mums-to-be alongside an overview of how stress and anxiety during pregnancy can affect the unborn baby's development and birth. Professor Glover and Dr Tom O'Connor studied women living in Avon and expecting their babies between April 1991 and December 1992 (the ALSPAC Study, also know as Children of the 90s).
Each woman completed questionnaires designed to measure their level of anxiety at 18 and 32 weeks of pregnancy. Women were identified as anxious if they scored in the top 15 per cent of respondents. Children were assessed for behavioural and emotional problems just before their fourth birthday.
Researchers looked particularly at women who were anxious during their pregnancy, but whose levels of anxiety fell after delivery. This was to see how the baby's behaviour was affected by antenatal anxiety rather than their mother's mood during their early years. Results showed that women who were anxious in the last trimester of pregnancy had children with more behavioural problems. Those who had boys were twice as likely to have a child who showed problems with hyperactivity and inattention problems at age four.
(2) The findings, published in the journal Clinical Endocrinology, come after separate research on animals showed that high levels of stress in a mother during pregnancy could affect brain function and behaviour in her offspring, and other evidence suggesting that maternal stress in humans can affect the developing child, including lowering its IQ.
(3) Rossi, E.L. (1993). The Psychobiology of Mind-Body Healing. New York: Norton and Co
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