We all know that stress is a fact of life – and definitely more so when you are pregnant. Now you are not only stressing about yourself, the rest of your family and of course the rest of the world – you are also stressing (sometimes greatly) about this little unborn baby inside you. Just being pregnant can cause a fair amount of stress, even when everything is going great with the pregnancy. Worry during pregnancy is not a huge problem – more, the problem is long term stress during pregnancy.
Researchers have concluded that the stress hormone cortisol is found as early as the seventeenth week of pregnancy. They also measured the amounts of cortisol in the mother’s blood. When levels of cortisol were found to be higher in the mother, they were also higher in the amniotic fluid levels. Normally, cortisol helps the body deal with stress appropriately. However, long term exposure for a fetus is unknown. We know that long term exposure in adults can lead to depression, illness and exhaustion. This then can lead to poor health including high blood pressure, ulcers and heart disease.
Studies have shown that cognitive functioning of the baby can be affected, even later in life. They have shown that babies with higher cortisol exposure levels in utero had lower IQs at 18 months. Others have indicated that this stress may also lead to an increased risk of developing attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
This certainly does not prove that every little amount of stress you have during pregnancy is going to harm your baby. It is recommended to do things that lower your stress level. Try to stay relaxed as much as possible during your pregnancy. This is where BabyBeat can help. The BabyBeat Fetal Dopplers all allow you to listen in to your growing baby while in utero. The peace of mind that is given from hearing your baby’s heartbeat is unmeasureable. The feeling of joy at hearing the thumping of that little heart beat can not be compared. Of course, hearing your baby’s heartbeat is not the only indicator of fetal well-being. You need to continue to make note of fetal movement and other indicators your doctor has you noting. So, if you need a little “stress relief” during your pregnancy, just give BabyBeat a try!