May 19, 2017
On a daily basis I encounter varying degrees of anxiety in women relating to some aspect of their pregnancy. A mother’s concern for her own and her baby’s (born or unborn) well-being is normal, primal, protective, healthy. Anxiety affecting work, relationships, enjoyment, sleep is not.
Aside from the fact that anxiety impacts on the woman’s daily life, it is also well known to impact on her current pregnancy and unborn baby. Anxiety upsets the emotional and mental balance of the woman, although the exact dynamics of the interactions with the fetus are not known, however have been measured in terms of preterm birth and low birth weight. One study shows the Maternal cortisol levels correlating with the cortisol levels in the amniotic fluid and this was linked to lower birth weight. ⁴ Specifically, anxiety and stress are risk factors for preterm birth and low birth weight. 1,2
There are a host of other studies and interactions that could be discussed here however I think the point is very clear.. It’s time to combat anxiety in pregnancy!
As a midwife I am very passionate about anxiety in pregnancy and am on a mission with Sophrology to guide women and families on a safe and enjoyable journey through pregnancy.
A study tested a mindfulness based method on pregnant mums who met the criteria for generalised anxiety disorder on the benefits and reduction in anxiety.
They found a clinically and statistically significant improvement in the anxiety levels. Specifically that 16 of 17 no longer met the generalised anxiety criteria after completing the mindfulness series.5
Sophrology is mindfulness AND A WHOLE LOT MORE! It’s a whole package of lifestyle based skills including Eastern and Western techniques of meditation, psychology, visualisations, hypnosis etc. The method is extremely relaxing and confidence building, helping to retrain the anxious brain to be body connected, to see the important realities, to breathe and self-calm.
An anxious mind is living the past or future as though it’s happening right now. An important step in combating anxiety is learning to keep the body and mind connected and to leave the past in the past and the future in the future. The body is the connection to the present moment, its the only thing that is actually happening right here and right now, the only thing that matters right now.
And for all the reasons listed above I can not see any reason to delay using the sophrology methods in your daily routine.
Contact me today for opportunities to meet in both a group and one on one settings.
1.The effects of maternal depression, anxiety, and perceived stress during pregnancy on preterm birth: A systematic review
Aleksandra StanevaFiona BogossianMargo PritchardAnja Wittkowski
2.Maternal anxiety during pregnancy and adverse birth outcomes: A systematic review and meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies
Xiu-Xiu DingYi-Le WuShao-Jun XuRuo-Ping ZhuXiao-Min JiaShi-Fen ZhangKun HuangPeng ZhuJia-Hu HaoFang-Biao Tao
3.High maternal cortisol levels during pregnancy are associated with more psychiatric symptoms in offspring at age of nine – A prospective study from Nicaragua.
4. Influence of prenatal maternal stress, maternal plasma cortisol and cortisol in the amniotic fluid on birth outcomes and child temperament at 3 months
Eugenia BaibazarovaCornelieke van de BeekPeggy T. Cohen-KettenisJan BuitelaarKatherine H. SheltonStephanie H.M. van Goozen
5.CALM Pregnancy: results of a pilot study of mindfulness-based cognitive therapy for perinatal anxiety.
Janice H. GoodmanEmail authorAnthony GuarinoKerry ChenauskyLauri KleinJoanna PragerRebecca PetersenAvery ForgetMarlene Freeman
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