Essay Example: Negative Impacts of Stress Among Pregnant Mothers

Published: 2023-01-20
Essay Example: Negative Impacts of Stress Among Pregnant Mothers
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Maternity Healthcare Stress Pregnancy
Pages: 3
Wordcount: 668 words
6 min read

Having stress during pregnancy is common, but prolonged one can result in health problems to the developing fetus. Some scholars argue that severe stress like loss of jobs or death of a spouse, and marriage breaking can negatively affect pregnancy leading to complications like premature, behavioral, and sleep disorders in young kids. Pregnant mothers who have too much stress experience trouble in sleeping, lack of appetite, nausea, and headaches a situation which affects the health of the developing fetus. However, the essay focuses on the negative impacts of stress on the developing fetus among pregnant mothers.

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First, stress can affect microbes that live in the vagina of an expectant mother. They are transferred to the baby during vaginal birth leading to changes to the newborn brain development and gut microbiome since the affected microbes affect an infant's metabolism and immune system. According to scientists, altered gut microbiota is closely connected to the threat of neurodevelopmental conditions such as schizophrenia and autism (Grace 214). These disorders become severe and chronic because they affect the behavior and mental capacity of the child after birth.

Secondly, pregnant mothers who have stress can affects the developing fetus because it is linked with the hormone known as cortisol. The chemical can pass through the placenta and affects the brain development of growing infants (Lilliecreutz 5). Hence the newborn develops sleeping difficulties or shows the reduction in cognitive abilities and mental health issues. Also, exposed to stress during pregnancy leads to premature births or the risk of preterm delivery. Various studies have shown that children who belong to the mothers who had anxiety during pregnancy indicate high increase rate of allergies and asthma and higher chances of hospitalization due to infectious diseases like gastroenteritis and respiratory illness (Staneva 179). It means that the stress which is experienced by pregnant mother affects fetal development in both physical and neurological as a result of increase hormones Cortisol.

Besides, exposing the developing infants to the stress would prepare the fetus for the nature that the mother views as stressful. For example, the outcome that is the behavioral problem may be seen adaptive by the child, mainly, when he/she is meant to live in a world of stressful. The child may become hyper-vigilant, hyperactive, and aggressive to cope with the surrounding environment. These kids eventually develop the conditions of ADHD and anxiety, which are associated with behavioral problems. These stressful behaviors can also be transmitted from the mother to fetus by the hormone serotonin which is known as neurotransmitter since it transfers the signals of the stress from the mother's brain to the fetus which in turn affect the neurodevelopment (Grace 219).

Finally, stress among pregnant mothers may affect their immune system, which prevents the body from the infection. Hence, the increase in the likelihood of the diseases to the uterus, which in turn results in premature birth. Various scholars view that the expectant mothers who are stressed have low chances of seeking medication support to maintain the health of the developing fetus, for instance, to acquire the immune antibiotics which boost the immunity of the newborn hence exposing the infant into health problems

Therefore, stress among pregnant mothers is risky as it affects the developing fetus. For example, PSTD (post-traumatic stress disorder) which comes especially when expectant mothers have experienced devastating events like abuse, rape, natural disaster or terrorist attack makes them become serious anxious a situation which triggers the chemical hormone of cortisol which crosses the placenta and in turn transmit the signals to the fetus thus affects the cognitive and behavioral development. Hence pregnant mothers should avoid stress through visiting health care providers.

Works Cited

Grace, Tegan. "The impact of maternal gestational stress on motor development in late childhood and adolescence: a longitudinal study." Child Development 87.1 (2016): 211-220.

Lilliecreutz, Caroline. "Effect of maternal stress during pregnancy on the risk for preterm birth." BMC pregnancy and childbirth 16.1 (2016): 5.

Staneva, Aleksandra. "The effects of maternal depression, anxiety, and perceived stress during pregnancy on preterm birth: A systematic review." Women and Birth 28.3 (2015): 179-193.

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