Stress and Pregnancy
This is a huge transitional period for the family unit, and usually characterized as stressful. Due to new roles to learn, adjustments within the family unit, communication patterns are re-established. These shifts may trigger biologic changes, hormonal function shifts, and immune system vulnerability.
The whole family unit is thrown off it equilibrium due to restructure of family roles, adjustments to family goals, physical and emotional changes that pregnancy may bring. This is the case for the average and normal situation and pregnancy. What about other circumstances or high risk pregnancy?
If the pregnancy is from an already stressful situation such as a rape or domestic violence has occurred, the stressor of pregnancy brings additional problems. Decisions need to be made to assist the mother, if other children are involved, their safety attended to.
In high risk pregnancy situation, stress is further aggravated if hospitalization is required. “High risk” is a label given to those whom the health of the baby or mother to be is threatened.
The pregnant mother’s ability to adjust and or adapt to the situation may be in jeopardy by the excessive level of stress. The mother must understand the causative factors in being labeled high risk and accept the situation in order to have a good outcome. As well as the pregnant mother, all other family members need to assess, accept, and readjust to this prognosis.
Unfortunately, pregnancy on the reservation is almost always considered high risk. This is due to poverty, gang activity, teenage pregnancy, alcohol consumption and drug abuse.
Only YOU can change this! Change the additional stressors in your life, and then you can change the outcome of your pregnancy and delivery!