It is common for an expectant mother to feel stressed about pregnancy, especially those who are pregnant for the first time. It can bring up a range of emotions and anxieties. Being concerned about having a healthy pregnancy is not a bad thing because it can push people to take action in the face of new challenges.
However, when the stress becomes too overwhelming, it could lead to health problems for the mother and the baby. Hence, it is necessary to consult with your doctor for a smooth and risk-free pregnancy.
Understanding The Common Causes of Stress During Pregnancy
Finding out that they are pregnant can be a stressful experience in itself for some women. Stress arises mostly in unplanned pregnancy. Other factors such as fear of pregnancy loss, fear of labour and delivery, financial problems, uncomfortable physical changes like nausea, tiredness, mood swings, and backaches, miscarriage, and fear of taking care of the baby when the baby is born could lead to stress among pregnant women.
It's Important For Mothers to Keep Herself Stress Free
Maternal stress or anxiety during pregnancy can affect the fetus, causing possible long-term consequences for infant and child development. Chronic stress can affect the mother's health and can cause headaches, problems sleeping, fast breathing, and a racing pulse.
Also, it could lead to preeclampsia, miscarriage, premature birth, and low birth rate. Thus, it is important to look after the mental well-being and take care of the physical health of the mother during pregnancy.
Risks of Stress to Your Baby and Pregnancy Are:
Preeclampsia: Research shows that if you already have high blood pressure, you're at greater risk of getting preeclampsia during pregnancy. Preeclampsia is a potentially dangerous pregnancy complication characterised by high blood pressure. It usually begins after 20 weeks of pregnancy in a woman whose blood pressure had been normal. It can lead to complications for both mother and baby.
Miscarriage: Also known as spontaneous abortion, it can be both physically and emotionally painful. Research shows that women who had major negative life events or psychological stress exposure were twice as likely to have early miscarriages. The stressers of pregnancy can trigger depression in some people. To cope up, people use harmful substances like alcohol, tobacco, and drugs. These can increase the risk of certain pregnancy complications, including miscarriage.
Preterm Birth and Low Birth Rate: Studies show that mothers who experience more stress are more likely to go into labourearly.Stress can increase the chances of having a premature baby (born before 37 weeks of pregnancy) or a low-birthweight baby (who weigh less than 5 and a half lb (2.5 kg or 2500 g) at birth). Chronic stress can lead to long-term changes in the body's vascular system, hormone levels, and the ability to fight infection. All these, can potentially influence labour to start before the baby is full-term.
Some studies show that high levels of stress during pregnancy could lead to a higher chance of the child developing attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Stress may also affect the baby's brain development or immune system.
Tips to Manage Stress During Pregnancy
Here are some ways to help you reduce stress:
Remember all the discomforts you experience during pregnancy are temporary. Learn how to manage and deal with the discomforts. One can talk to someone who knows about pregnancy or your doctor
Eat healthy, take enough rest, sleep and exercise
To help manage the stress, one can try relaxation activities, like prenatal yoga or meditation
Read a lot about pregnancy so you know what to expect during pregnancy and when your baby arrives.
Plan ahead and don't miss any appointments. (Dr. N Sapna Lulla, Lead Consultant - Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Aster CMI Hospital)
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London: Increased levels of blood fats, also known as lipids, in people with Type 2 diabetes and obesity are more harmful than previously thought, a new study has found.
In patients with metabolic diseases, elevated fat levels in the blood create stress in muscle cells -- a reaction to changes outside the cell which damage their structure and function.
The study, published in the journal Nature Communications showed that these stressed-out cells give off a signal which can be passed on to other cells.
The signals, known as ceramides, may have a protective benefit in the short-term, because they are part of a mechanism designed to reduce stress in the cell. But in metabolic diseases, which are long term conditions, the signals can kill the cells, make symptoms more severe, and worsen the illness, said researchers at University of Leeds in the UK.
Increased fat in the blood has long been known to damage tissues and organs, contributing to the development of cardiovascular and metabolic diseases including Type 2 diabetes. The condition can be caused by obesity, rates of which have nearly tripled worldwide between 1975 and 2020.
"This research gives us a novel perspective on how stress develops in the cells of individuals with obesity, and provides new pathways to consider when looking to develop new treatments for metabolic diseases," said Lee Roberts, Professor of Molecular Physiology and Metabolism in the University's School of Medicine.
"With obesity an ever-increasing epidemic, the burden of associated chronic disease such as Type 2 diabetes necessitates new treatments. We hope the results of our research here open a new avenue for research to help address this growing concern," he added.
In the lab, the team replicated the blood fat levels observed in humans with metabolic disease by exposing skeletal muscle cells to a fatty acid called palmitate. The cells began to transmit the ceramide signal.
When these cells were mixed with others which had not been previously exposed to fats, the researchers found that they communicated with each other, transporting the signal in packages called extracellular vesicles.
The experiment was reproduced in human volunteers with metabolic diseases and gave comparable results. The findings provide a completely new angle on how cells respond to stress, with important consequences for our understanding of certain metabolic diseases including obesity. (Agency)
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London: Seven in ten long Covid patients experience concentration and memory problems several months after the initial onset of their disease, with many performing worse than their peers on cognitive tests, according to twin studies.
In the studies led by University of Cambridge, researchers showed that half of the patients reported difficulties in getting medical professionals to take their symptoms seriously. It was likely because cognitive symptoms do not get the same attention as lung problems or fatigue.
In a study of 181 long Covid patients, 78 per cent reported difficulty concentrating, 69 per cent reported brain fog, 68 per cent reported forgetfulness, and 60 per cent reported problems finding the right word in speech. These self-reported symptoms were reflected in significantly lower ability to remember words and pictures in cognitive tests.
Participants carried out multiple tasks to assess their decision-making and memory. These included remembering words in a list, and remembering which two images appeared together.
The results revealed a consistent pattern of ongoing memory problems in those who had suffered Covid-19 infection. Problems were more pronounced in people whose overall ongoing symptoms were more severe.
To help understand the cause of the cognitive issues, the researchers investigated other symptoms that might be linked.
They found that people who experienced fatigue and neurological symptoms, like dizziness and headache, during their initial illness were more likely to have cognitive symptoms later on. They also found that those who were still experiencing neurological symptoms were particularly impaired on cognitive tests.
The researchers noted that their results support other findings that suggest society will face a 'long tail' of workforce illness due to long Covid. It is therefore important not just for the sake of individuals, but for broader society, to be able to prevent, predict, identify and treat issues associated with long Covid.
"Long Covid has received very little attention politically or medically. It urgently needs to be taken more seriously, and cognitive issues are an important part of this. When politicians talk about aLiving with Covid' - that is, unmitigated infection, this is something they ignore. The impact on the working population could be huge," said Dr Lucy Cheke, a researcher in the University of Cambridge's Department of Psychology. (agency)
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We live in a world where we are constantly occupied with either work, daily chores, technology, etc. and therefore we fail to take out time for ourselves. The importance of self-care, mental and physical well-being is highly undermined.
In the continuous mission to help one age gracefully and radiate a feeling of internal harmony, many individuals are looking for a natural, reasonable choice that will help them look and feel good. Face yoga is a natural choice to help achieve enduring outcomes.
Face yoga includes massage and activities that stimulate the muscles, skin, and lymphatic framework. This procedure is intended to mellow and loosen up your face muscles to help get rid of tension, stress, and worry.
This may also assist you to stop making facial expressions associated with these feelings. In addition to this, individuals these days have trouble falling asleep.
People all over the world are not enjoying the average amount of sleep that they used to decades ago. Face yoga has also proved to be beneficial in helping one sleep at night.
Aditya Arya Co-Founder Yes Madam shares types of face yoga you can practise anywhere:
Forward folds carry fresh blood and oxygen to the skin, which boasts a healthy glow.
Back bending tones up and makes the front neck muscles firm, while twists firm the side of the face and release neck pressure.
Slower kinds of yoga that include holding poses for increased periods might offer you a greater amount of a chance to carry this attention to your facial muscles.This includes Hatha, Yin, or supportive yoga. You can likewise deal with loosening up your face muscles during your meditation, pranayama, or yoga Nidra practice.
Some simple Facial yoga exercises are as follows:
An eye massage where you close your fists but push your thumbs towards your eyes in a circular motion helps you get rid of dark circles and release stress
The simple exercise of blinking your eyes helps in improving vision
Lifting your chin by your thumbs helps you get rid of your double chin, cheek squeezing to improve blood circulation by squeezing and grabbing the flesh
Placing both index fingers on either side of the nose directly next to the corner of the inner eye helps to sleep better
Everyday Facial Yoga harmonizes our human connection to our facial expressions, movements, facial muscles and nerves. Facial yoga is less painless than surgery which temporarily makes fine lines and wrinkles disappear.
This is one reason it's been gaining so much popularity. Facial yoga gives you the benefits of a facelift without any chemicals injected into your skin. Though achieving results is really slow, good things usually take time. Facial yoga is the latest craze in India for people regardless of their age. (agency)
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London: Severe Covid-19 in pregnancy may increase the risk of pre-labour caesarean birth, a very or extreme preterm birth, stillborn birth, and the need for admission to a neonatal unit, finds a new study.
The study, published in the journal Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica, indicated that certain pregnant women with Covid-19 who are hospitalised stand a higher risk of developing serious disease.
"This new analysis shows that certain pregnant women admitted to a hospital with Covid-19 face an elevated risk of severe disease," said senior author Marian Knight, FMedSci, of the University of Oxford.
"However, it shows once again the strong protective effect of vaccination against severe disease and adverse outcomes for both mother and baby," Knight added.
For the study, the research team included 4,436 pregnant women hospitalised in the UK with symptomatic Covid-19 from March 1, 2020 to October 31, 2021 (13.9 per cent of whom had severe Covid-19).
In addition to having increased risks of adverse pregnancy-related outcomes, women with severe infection were more likely to be aged around 30 years, being overweight or obese, be of mixed ethnicity, or have gestational diabetes compared with those with mild or moderate infection, the study said.
"This study emphasizes the importance of ensuring that interventions to promote vaccine uptake are particularly focused towards those at highest risk," Knight said. (agency)
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Moscow: The Omicron strain of the Covid-19 may lead to neurological complications much like other Covid variants, according to a Russian expert.
According to founder and chief executive of DNKOM research center Andrey Isaev, although Omicron has been touted as causing mild infections, it can lead to long Covid in adults and systemic inflammations among children, TASS news agency reported.
The Omicron variant carries a large number of mutations and is also known to evade vaccine-induced immunity.
Yet, several studies have shown that the Omicron variant is less able to infect the lungs and, as a result, is leading to less patients being admitted with pneumonia who require oxygen and ventilators.
However, in many countries, particularly in the US and Israel, it spiked hospitalisations.
Isaev stated that since Omicron is a variant of the SARS-CoV-2 which had been known to affect the brain as well as cause inflammation it may have some or the other post-infection effects, the report said.
"Despite the lighter course of the Omicron, it is necessary to understand: if the coronavirus does not lead to pneumonia and artificial lung ventilation, it may have other consequences," he was quoted as saying.
"Covid-19 in the past may lead to severe nervous system disturbances - neuro Covid and long Covid-19 may occur when infected with the Omicron as well," Isaev added.
The variant also significantly affected children. Many children across US were hospitalised.
Isaev noted that "systemic inflammations may evolve with children" due to Omicron.
The predominant symptoms of Omicron include headache, lethargy, throat pain, dry cough, fever, and loss of appetite. So far studies have shown it to be largely affecting the upper respiratory system and are not known to affect the lungs much.
But in January, Israel reported a case of a person with Omicron being treated for myocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle.)
Studies have shown that even mild cases of Covid-19 can trigger persistent symptoms.
Long Covid is a possibility regardless of the variant, top US infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci was quoted as saying in a recent interview.
"Long Covid can happen no matter what virus variant occurs. There's no evidence that there's any difference between Delta or Beta or now Omicron," he had said. (Agency)
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