We all know that what you eat or drink, during pregnancy, affects your child in the womb. But current research by Research from the Association for Psychological Science a 6 month old embryo can feel the mother’s emotion. The research shows that it can shape the fetus’s emotional health and attitude towards life.
So, if the question is that if crying affects your baby’s health, the answer is yes. However, there are no straight forward answers to this because the extent of impact depends on the extent of your level of anxiety or sadness.
Mothers Who are Occasionally Sad or Crying
Occasional sad days do not affect your baby. If you are feeling sad on some days then fetus does not get harmed. The hormone released during the occasional outburst does not impart any long-term effect.
However, if you are feeling resentment towards the pregnancy or having the baby, that might make you suffer along with your child. Sadness evoked out of resentment can trigger postpartum depression. Remember that once in a while, most of the pregnant mothers feel a little blue. But if the cycle of your sadness or mood-swing is continuous then you must consult your doctor.
Mothers Who are Anxious
Mothers who are generally anxious can result in giving birth to anxious children. Anxiety and sadness releases certain kind of hormones in your body. That affects the formation of your baby, inside your womb.
If you are regularly stressed and anxious, it is more likely that your child will also be stressed or anxious. That might result in a baby who is stressed and anxious all the time. Sometimes it can cause chronic anxiety to your child.
Anti-anxiety medication often soothes the mother’s nerve but again at the same time it impacts the child’s mental and physical health. People who are already under mood stabilizers or anti-anxiety pills should discuss with the doctors before getting pregnant. Otherwise, they will expose themselves along with the baby to a life-long suffering from stress and anxiety.
Mothers who are Depressed
Pregnant women suffering from depression is very common. It is in fact as common as postpartum depression. About 10 percent of pregnant women are diagnosed with depression. There are specific signs of depression which might be visible while you are pregnant. Lack of sleeping, loss of appetite, difficulty in concentration, and lethargy are some common signs that you are undergoing depression during pregnancy.
On the other hand, if you are previous diagnosed with depression and were taking anti-depressants on a regular basis, it is advisable that you stop taking them during your pregnancy. Depressed mothers find it more difficult to handle.
Adapting to coping strategies, like smoking or having an unhealthy diet, often creates more problem. It hampers both the mother and the child. If you are depressed during pregnancy you are likely to release more prenatal stress hormones. This increases the risk to your child. If you are depressed during your pregnancy, then there are more chances that your child will experience slower fetal growth. It is scientifically observed that the hormone released during depression decreases the rate of growth of your child.
Effect on the Child
The depression also affects your child by a great deal. Research in this field shows that the mothers with depression tend to give birth to smaller children compared to women without depression. Depressed mothers give birth to premature delivery and lower birth weights more often than the others. The hormonal secretions tend to suppress the size of the fetus to that extent so that it never gets the full nourishment to come to its actual size. Also depression causes loss of appetite for the mother. That is also another reason why the baby does not get full nutrition for its growth and well being. So, taking a holistic view it can be said that chronic depression results in the birth of smaller or premature babies. Even for babies born on due dates, the birth weights tend to be lower.
The depressed mothers give birth to babies with higher urinary stress hormones. That is why they are more reactive to stress. They tend to be temperamentally more challenging and more difficult to soothe.
Research also shows that there are other long-term impacts on the child born from depressed mothers. A depressed mother will give birth to a child with sever social challenges. They will show much more aggression and other behavioral problems. There are studies, suggesting that the child born from maternal depression will tend to have lesser IQ and the command over the language. The outcome tends to worsen in case the mother shows regular signs of depression-once during the pregnancy and also later in the stages of his/her growing-up. The child’s mental health also becomes a matter of question as he/she might be exposed to maltreatment by the mother herself.
Does Medicine Help?
Sometimes taking antidepressants affects the child in the same manner as the depression itself. There are many studies, conducted over the last 30 years, showing how such medications tend to hamper the development of the fetus. The similar affects in terms of size and behavioral qualities of the child is observed even after having antidepressants.
For that reason, if the mother herself is diagnosed with depression even before getting pregnant, further health assessments should be carried away. Certain changes of medication and therapy can cure the problem. However, people with prior records of depression are tends to suffer more from postpartum depression. But in such cases the baby does not suffer from direct health or emotional problems.
Hence it is important to diagnose the problem and have a full discussion with the doctor regarding the pregnancy. If you are already suffering from borderline or actual depression, you must undergo proper medication and therapy to make sure that you do not suffer from the same during your pregnancy. Remember that when your child’s physical and mental health is at stake, then you must take the risk of being pregnant with diagnosed or undiagnosed depression.
Read More: 10 Pregnancy Tips To Make A Smart Baby