Chronic stress is not healthy in any way. However, for pregnant women, the effects can be especially dramatic according to a study from Ohio State University. Mothers exposed to chronic stress are often more susceptible to developing postpartum depression and may have more difficulty interacting with their children and multitasking.
Being a mother requires flexibility in thinking and interacting with children. According to study author Bendetta Leuner, this ability is the result of increased neuron dendrites that develop during pregnancy. In fact, during normal healthy pregnancy, mothers develop approximately 20 percent more neurological dendrites. However, mothers who are chronically stressed do not develop additional dendrites in brain neurons.
Decreased neurological dendrite development has multiple impacts on mothers and their children. Mothers who are stressed are at higher risk for experiencing postpartum depression. Women with this condition do not easily interact with their children during the critical bonding period immediately after birth.
Neuron dendrites allow neurons to communicate effectively. This promotes creative thinking and behavioral flexibility. Mothers who are stressed often demonstrate less ability to multitask and cope with many of the situations that involve raising children.
There are many ways to reduce stress during pregnancy and throughout life. Regardless of whether you are pregnant, male or female, chronic stress can have a serious impact on your health. One method to reduce stress is with yoga and meditation. These activities promote relaxation and have added health benefits of lowering blood pressure and improving flexibility and balance.
This short meditation and yoga practice can be done by anyone, pregnant or not…
Physical activity is an excellent stress reduction approach. Exercising improves muscle strength and cardiovascular health. However, it also releases healthy neurochemicals that improve mood and reduce stress.
Exposure to chronic stress is unhealthy for anyone. For pregnant women, the implications are extremely serious, since chronic stress can impact their ability to interact with their child in healthy ways. Using stress reduction techniques, like in the video above, can improve your health, not only physically, but emotionally too.
Do you feel stressed? What do activities help you reduce your stress levels?
– The Alternative Daily