Mumbai: While the birth of a child is an exhilarating phase for a first-time mother, it is also a taxing time, both physically and mentally. The woman is suddenly thrust into a new role from all the pampering in the pregnancy phase. To add to this the fluctuating hormone levels and it is not uncommon for her to feel low. Experts believe that even though some amount of anxiety is common, many first time mothers are highly stressed during pregnancy and the number is surely going up.
Dr Pooja Bandekar, Head of Unit, The Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Nowrosjee Wadia Maternity Hospital, Parel, said, “The stress levels in the first time mothers are surging up. There is a 10 per cent increase from last five years. Advancing age, lessen threshold for pain, a sedentary lifestyle, problems like obesity diabetes, hypertension, and other factors like IVF pregnancies can be the reasons. The stress does not directly affect the baby as the factors causing stress are tackled and the babies are evaluated accordingly. Stressors aren’t allowed to pass on to the baby as the corrective measures are taken on time. To de-stress, relaxation techniques like meditation, yoga, change of activity along with physical and physiological rest is recommended.”
Dr Anu Vinod Vij, Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Motherhood Hospital, Kharghar, said, “I have seen 7-8 per cent of first-time mothers experiencing stress since last five years. It is commonly seen in the first time mothers who are in the higher age group, are career-oriented and the ones who have conceived with assisted reproductive treatment (ART), which refers to treatments used to assist people in achieving a pregnancy wherein depending on the cause of infertility, the following types of treatment like ovulation induction (OI), artificial insemination (AI), as they are tense that how will this pregnancy go forward? The women may also exhibit symptoms like weakness, nausea, vomiting, and loss of appetite, owing to stress. Moreover, they may also get high blood pressure which is the part and parcel of high age group.” Stress in the first time mothers can be tackled with the help of a coping mechanism.“Relaxation techniques like yoga, meditation, music therapy, and also identifying the triggers of stress, can be helpful,” concluded Dr Vij.