Is feeling emotional a sign of pregnancy: Signs, Symptoms, and Ectopic Pregnancy
I’m Having Symptoms – Could I Be Pregnant?
Have you been sexually active and noticed unusual things happening with your body?
“During early pregnancy, symptoms you experience are your body’s way of alerting you to the drama that is happening inside. From the very moment of conception (when egg and sperm join), your body undergoes an avalanche of change in a very short time.” Early on pregnancy symptoms can be subtle, but even before you miss a period you may experience some of the following:
Classic Pregnancy Signs and Symptoms:
- Missed Period: Your period is officially late if it has been beyond 30 days since your last period. However, if you have an irregularly existing menstrual cycle, you may want to wait for more pregnancy symptoms to arise.
- Fatigue: During the early stages of pregnancy, high levels of the hormone progesterone is released into the body causing you to feel worn out and sleepy.
- Moodiness: “The flood of hormones in your body in early pregnancy can make you unusually emotional and weepy. Mood swings also are common.”
- Swollen, tender breasts: You may feel some discomfort with you breasts like sensitive nipples and darkness. However, this is not uncommon when the body has began to make preparations to produce milk.
- Frequent urination: Pregnancy can cause an increased amount of blood to be produced in the body also modifying the kidneys, producing extra fluids in the bladder, that must be released.
- Nausea with or without vomiting: Though morning sickness is an unpleasant event, it is also a symptom of pregnancy that many women share. According to a survey conducted by the American Pregnancy Association, “25% [of the women surveyed] indicated that nausea was the first sign of pregnancy.”
- Food aversions and cravings: After becoming pregnant you may become sensitive to certain odors or aromas. Your desire for certain foods may also increase or decrease. Hormonal changes are the main cause of these developments during pregnancy.
While the above pregnancy symptoms can fall on the usual spectrum of being with child, some symptoms can be very unusual, like the following:
Weird Early Pregnancy Symptoms:
- Taste of metal: During pregnancy, some women undergo a condition called dysgeusia, which causes changes in taste. These changes can result in your mouth or certain food tasting salty, burnt, or like metal.
- Dry skin: It is a common occurrence for pregnant women to experience dry skin. Because of the change in hormones, the skin loses both elasticity and some of its moisture with the growth of your belly.
- Insomnia (trouble falling or staying asleep): During pregnancy, the quality of sleep you acquire will lessen. Though being pregnant can cause you to feel tired all day, it too can cause you to have insomnia at night.
Remember that the above symptoms are not solely used for determining pregnancy. A reliable pregnancy test is the only way to find out if you are truly pregnant.
Think you’re pregnant? Contact us for assistance, support, and free pregnancy testing.
1. “Signs of Pregnancy: Could I Be Pregnant?” Lamaze International, https://www.lamaze.org/signs-and-symptoms-of-pregnancy. Accessed February 20, 2020.
2. “Symptoms of Pregnancy: What Happens First.” Mayo Clinic, https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/getting-pregnant/in-depth/symptoms-of-pregnancy/art-20043853. Accessed February 20, 2020.
3. “Pregnancy Symptoms – Early Signs of Pregnancy.” American Pregnancy Association, https://americanpregnancy.org/getting-pregnant/early-pregnancy-symptoms/. Accessed February 21, 2020.
Early Signs of Pregnancy and Symptoms
1. Missed period
If you have a regular menstrual cycle, this is often the earliest physical sign. Bear in mind that you can get a little light bleeding or spotting around the time of your period even if you are pregnant, and when the fertilized egg implants in your womb. If your cycles aren’t regular you may notice other pregnancy symptoms before you notice a missed period.
Some women find that after having had a completely regular cycle for a number of years, they may then not have a period for a significant length of time. The first thing to do if this happens is to rule out pregnancy, by doing a home pregnancy test .
The medical term for missing your periods for more than 6 months is ‘amenorrhea’. There are lots of reasons why your periods may suddenly stop, including putting on or losing weight very quickly, excessive exercise and stress. If you find that you are having hot flushes and a decreased interest in sex, it might be that you have the first signs of the menopause (peri-menopause). Whatever your symptoms, see your doctor if your regular periods change or stop.
Answers from our Experts
Miss Emma Kirk is a Consultant in Obstetrics and Gynaecology
at the Royal Free Hospital London
Is it normal to still have periods during pregnancy?
Mrs Emma Kirk:
No, you should not be having periods during pregnancy. Any bleeding in early pregnancy may be a sign of a threatened early pregnancy loss. However many women with light bleeding, will go on to have a normal pregnancy. If you do have any bleeding, it is important to discuss with your doctor or midwife who may refer you on for an early ultrasound scan.
I know that if you test early (before your period) it’s less accurate – I just got a ‘Pregnant’ result but my period isn’t due just yet – can I trust the result?
Miss Emma Kirk :
If you have tested before your period is due and got a ‘Pregnant’ result this is very accurate and you can rely on the result. This means the level of pregnancy hormone was high enough to be detected.
Result 6 days before your missed period
Early Detection Pregnancy Test
2. Changes in your breasts
Your breasts might grow larger and feel tender or highly sensitive. The veins on your breasts may become more noticeable and your areola (nipples) may darken.
My test said ‘pregnant’ but I don’t feel pregnant – how can I be sure?
Mrs Emma Kirk :
Not all women will suffer from pregnancy symptoms, such as morning sickness. Look out for breast tenderness (which may be intermittent) as this is the symptom that is most commonly reported. However all pregnancies are different so do not worry.
Am I pregnant?
At Clearblue we believe that when a woman suspects she might be pregnant she needs a result she can be confident in and act on. That is why all Clearblue pregnancy tests deliver over 99% accuracy from the day of your expected period.
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You are likely to feel unusually tired in the first few weeks of pregnancy. This could be due to the rising levels of progesterone in your body as it maintains the lining of your womb to help support the pregnancy.
4. Feeling sick/morning sickness
You could start feeling sick, and even vomit, between the 2nd to the 8th week of pregnancy. This usually passes by the 16th week. Although this is often called ‘morning sickness’ it can happen at any time of the day or night – and can even affect you all the time
I feel very sick and am struggling to eat, will this affect my baby?
Mrs Emma Kirk :
Nausea and vomiting is very common affecting 8 out of 10 pregnant women. Whilst it is very unpleasant and can affect your day-to-day life, there is no evidence that nausea and vomiting has a harmful effect on your baby. In fact, you have a slightly lower risk of miscarriage.
Your baby will take what it needs from your body. When suffering from morning sickness make sure that you drink plenty of water and try to eat little and often. It is also recommended that you avoid any food or smells that trigger symptoms. Some women find that acupressure bands may help. If you are really struggling, you can see your doctor who may be able to prescribe you some anti-sickness medication.
5. Hyperemesis gravidarum
Around one in 100 pregnant women could suffer from hyperemesis gravidarum. Normally continuing well past the first trimester (12 to 13 weeks), hyperemesis gravidarum causes vomiting so often and severe that no food or liquid can be kept down. Usually, the condition can be treated and only in very rare cases will cause complications for the pregnancy, but please seek doctor advice if you are suffering from severe sickness.
Miss Emma Kirk :
Hyperemesis gravidarum is extreme nausea and vomiting and can be potentially life-threatening. Symptoms include prolonged episodes of vomiting, dehydration, having ketones in your urine and weight loss. Hospital treatment may be needed. Many units now offer treatment on a day case basis, but in severe cases admission may be needed. Treatments include intravenous fluids and anti-sickness medication.
6. Going to the toilet more often
About 6 to 8 weeks after conception you may need to urinate more frequently. This is due to your uterus (the medical term for your womb) growing larger and pressing on your bladder. At the end of the first trimester your uterus rises up into your abdomen which will takes some of this pressure off your bladder.
7. Mood swings
Your changing hormones may cause some mood swings in the early stages of pregnancy – you could even find yourself crying without really knowing why.
8. Changing tastes in food (cravings) and sensitivity to smells
You may go off certain things like tea, coffee or fatty food and might start to crave things you don’t normally like. You might feel queasy when you smell certain things too – like coffee, meat or alcohol.
You may get cramps in your legs or feet in the first trimester, and sometimes later in your pregnancy. This is due to changes in the way your body processes calcium.
How will I know if my pregnancy is progressing normally? My friend had an ectopic pregnancy and I’m worried this could happen to me too?
Miss Emma Kirk :
An ectopic pregnancy is when the pregnancy develops outside the uterus (womb). Almost 99% of pregnancies are normally located in the uterus; however ectopic pregnancies can affect any woman. Be aware that ectopic pregnancy can present with a variety of symptoms. Not all women experience symptoms. Initial ectopic pregnancy symptoms could be pain (requiring more than a mild painkiller like paracetamol to relieve) and bleeding. If the ectopic pregnancy is rupturing you may experience a generalised tummy pain which is often associated with shoulder tip pain. Other reported symptoms include pain on passing urine, pain when opening your bowels or pain when walking. If you experience these symptoms you should seek immediate medical attention.You need an ultrasound scan to confirm the location of the pregnancy.
Emotions during pregnancy | NCT
Your emotions might not necessarily only revolve around excitement when you’re pregnant. So you’re not alone if you’re feeling strong moods and emotions. Find out why this happens and how to manage mood swings in pregnancy.
Normal hormonal changes in pregnancy
As soon as you become pregnant, your body begins to prepare for safeguarding and maintaining the pregnancy. This increases your levels of the hormones oestrogen and progesterone in your blood. Read more about what these hormones do in your body in our article about pregnancy hormones.
High levels of progesterone and oestrogen are important for a healthy pregnancy, but are often the cause of some common unwanted side effects. This is especially true in the first trimester.
Apart from the morning sickness and tiredness, you might have mood swings and feel tearful or easily irritated (Society for Endicrinology, 2018). Once your body has adapted to the higher levels of these hormones, the symptoms usually wear off. But some women will experience them throughout their pregnancy.
Normal emotional changes in pregnancy
Aside from emotional ups and downs caused by rising hormone levels in the first three months, the feeling of growing a new life can be exciting and awe-inspiring (Healthtalk.org, 2019). It is also common for women to feel anxious, vulnerable and overwhelmed by the big changes that pregnancy and a new baby will bring (NHS Inform, 2019).
Even if you feel excited by your pregnancy, you will undoubtedly have some unsettling thoughts. Perhaps there will also be some difficult decisions to make. Most women have many questions that they ask of themselves. They might doubt their ability as a mother, how their relationship might change or how they will manage financially (Tommy’s, 2019a). Other normal worries include:
If you experienced problems with a pregnancy before, you might also worry about it happening again (Tommy’s, 2019a).
Managing emotions during pregnancy
It’s hard to think clearly or feel positive when you are feeling unwell and tired. Taking good physical care of yourself, especially getting plenty of rest and sleep, will help to keep troubling emotions in proportion (MIND, 2019).
It’s also important to eat several small healthy meals a day and try to avoid sugary foods, alcohol, tea, coffee and fizzy drinks (NHS, 2019; NHS Start4life, 2019).
Gentle to moderate exercise can help to improve mood and general fitness, and benefits your growing baby and your labour (Tommy’s, 2019b). Try to build in some activity every day. Avoid contact sports or any strenuous exercise, particularly if you weren’t active before your pregnancy (NHS, 2019).
Reduce other sources of stress if you can, and find ways to boost your emotional wellbeing. Try to deal with worries one at a time, rather than feeling swamped by them (Tommy’s, 2019b).
Finding out about benefit entitlements, midwife appointments, what you should eat and what you need for your baby can feel overwhelming. So starting a to do list can help you get these things organised. This NHS one has lots of useful information.
Talk it out
Bottling up your concerns will only increase your anxiety (Tommy’s, 2019). Discuss your feelings and worries with whoever you feel comfortable with. That might be your partner, friends, wider family, or your midwife.
Talking to other women or couples may also reveal that you are not alone in your experiences. Joining an antenatal course like those from NCT, a pregnancy yoga class, or a ‘bumps and babies’ group can give you an instant support network.
Live in the moment
Try to limit the time you spend mulling over your concerns, and give yourself a rest from being future-oriented. Instead, focus on your unborn baby and take time to enjoy being pregnant.
Many expectant mums find it helpful to practise mindfulness techniques or do something they enjoy (MIND, 2019). Using mindfulness can give your brain a rest from worrying, which will improve your mood and may help you to see things more clearly and in perspective (Dunn et al, 2012).
Listening to music can be helpful in calming emotions and enhancing wellbeing in pregnancy (Nwebube et al, 2017). Some mums also like to keep photos or diaries to remind them of better times on days when they’re feeling down. Writing about your emotions and noting down how you feel about stressful events can also be a good tool for managing stress and anxiety (Ulrich and Lutgendorf, 2002).
When you might need more support with your emotions
It is important to recognise that there is a difference between normal pregnancy emotions and a mental health issue. Pregnancy can be a time when women experience mental health issues for the first time (NHS, 2019).
More than one in eight women experience depression or anxiety when they’re pregnant, or sometimes both (NICE, 2014). Always see your GP or your midwife if you:
- have prolonged feelings of sadness
- have intrusive thoughts that you can’t control
- have lost interest in things you normally enjoy
- find yourself engaging in repetitive patterns of behavior, like repeatedly washing your hands or checking social media
- feel worthless
- feel unable to concentrate or make decisions
- have difficulty falling or staying asleep
- have lost your appetite
- are having panic attacks
- feel morbidly fearful of giving birth
- have thoughts about suicide.
(Tommy’s, 2019b; MIND, 2019)
If you have had depression or anxiety or any other mental health diagnosis in the past, then talk through this with your midwife early in your pregnancy. A relapse can be possible during pregnancy or after you give birth (NICE, 2014).
This page was last reviewed in January 2019
Our support line offers practical and emotional support with feeding your baby and general enquiries for parents, members and volunteers: 0300 330 0700.
We also offer antenatal courses which are a great way to find out more about birth, labour and life with a new baby.
NICE publishes a booklet Mental health problems during pregnancy and after giving birth covering antenatal and postnatal depression.
SANDS is a charity which can help and support parents suffering grief and bereavement following the loss of a baby.
Am I pregnant? Early signs and symptoms
When you think you could be pregnant, it’s natural to obsess over signs. Do you normally have that much discharge? Is that nausea really because of how much spag bol you devoured?
What are the early pregnancy signs and symptoms?
Here are the pregnancy signs that could give the game away:
- Changes of appetite
- Feeling of sickness, nausea and vomiting
- Strange taste in your mouth
- Needing to wee more often
- Breast changes
- Mood swings
- Cramps. (Healthline 2018)
This video looks at the early pregnancy symptoms and signs:
“The best way to confirm though is to pick up a pregnancy test”.
Changes of appetite
In the early stages of being pregnant, you may crave certain foods or go off others (Patient, 2017; NHS Choices, 2016).
The morning cuppa that you used to love might seem repulsive now, while you’re pining for Marmite despite previously being a hater (NHS Choices, 2016).
Things should settle back to normal in your second trimester. So as long as you’re getting a reasonable amount of nutrition, it won’t harm you to go with your new (and sometimes quirky) preferences (American Pregnancy Association, 2018).
Sickness, nausea and vomiting
If you’re sitting in meetings fighting the urge to vomit, you’re definitely not alone. About 50% to 80% of pregnant women will throw up or feel nauseous (Koren et al, 2002). That can start happening any time from two to eight weeks after you conceive your baby.
The most likely cause is fluctuating levels of pregnancy hormones (Fantasia, 2014).
Oh, and the term morning sickness is a bit misleading too. Nausea or vomiting can happen at any time during the day (American Pregnancy Association, 2018).
A small number of women might find themselves with a severe form of nausea and vomiting called hyperemis gravadarum (HG). HG can lead to pregnancy complications like dehydration, weight loss and electrolyte imbalance so you might need to be admitted to hospital (Fantasia, 2014; RCOG, 2016).
Strange taste in your mouth
Some women get a strange metallic taste in their mouth when they’re pregnant (NHS Choices, 2016; Patient, 2017), which can be an early sign.
Sensitivity to smells
You might also notice that you’re more sensitive to the smell of food or cooking (NHS Choices, 2016; Healthline, 2018). This can make you a little queasy and might put you off some foods.
In a lot of women, being pregnant can lead to constipation and bloating (Li et al, 2015). This could be because you’re producing a large amount of progesterone so your digestive system slows down (Li et al, 2015; Mayo Clinic, 2017). For more on how to prevent constipation in pregnancy, see here.
Going to the toilet a lot
When you’re pregnant, the urge to wee will come over you often, sometimes even leaking out before you get there.
This happens as your body pumps more blood than normal when you’re pregnant. That means the kidney processes more fluid than usual, leading to more fluid in your bladder (Healthline, 2018).
In the later stages of pregnancy, you’ll run to the loo even more often because of the increased pressure of your baby’s head (Mayo Clinic, 2017; Patient, 2017).
One of your earliest pregnancy symptoms can be headaches, which might be down to rising hormone levels. It could also be because of increased blood flow (American Pregnancy Association, 2018).
Speak to your midwife if you’re suffering as in some cases, they can be a sign of something more worrying. Your midwife will also advise you on what you can and can’t use to treat your headaches when you’re pregnant (Negro et al, 2017).
Because of the changes in – you guessed it – hormone levels, changes in your boobs can be one of the earliest pregnancy symptoms. You might find your breasts change between four and six weeks of pregnancy.
These changes can include:
- breasts getting bigger (see our article about bras for pregnancy if your old bras are getting too tight)
- breasts feeling tender
- breasts tingling
- veins becoming more visible
- areola (area around your breast) darkening. (NHS Choices, 2016; Healthline, 2018)
Anyone fancy a nap? Yep, tiredness and fatigue are some of the most common symptoms in early pregnancy. Try to make sure you get as much rest as you can.
Your sleepiness is caused by increased levels of progesterone (NHS Choices, 2016; Mayo Clinic, 2017; Patient 2017; Healthline, 2018). But if you’re struggling to get a good night’s sleep, see our article about how to sleep better during pregnancy.
Changes in your hormone levels during pregnancy can make you feel irritable and moody (Patient, 2017; Healthline 2018). So yes, you do have an excuse. Because your oestrogen and progesterone levels are up, you might feel more emotional or feel depressed, anxious and even euphoric (Healthline, 2018).
In early pregnancy, some women get a small amount of blood or spotting, known as implantation bleeding (Mayo Clinic, 2017; American Pregnancy Association, 2018).
Implantation happens when the fertilised egg attaches to the lining of the uterus 10 to 14 days after you conceived your baby. The spotting will probably last for less than three days (Healthline, 2018). For more information, see our articles on discharge during pregnancy and bleeding or spotting during pregnancy.
You might get light stomach cramps or pain if you have implantation bleeding (Healthline, 2018). Some women get mild cramping in their uterus in early pregnancy too (Mayo Clinic, 2017).
This page was last reviewed in September 2018
Our support line offers practical and emotional support with feeding your baby and general enquiries for parents, members and volunteers: 0300 330 0700.
We also offer antenatal courses which are a great way to find out more about birth, labour and life with a new child.
The HER Foundation provides information about hyperemesis gravidarum (HG).
American Pregnancy Association. (2018) Pregnancy symptoms – early signs of pregnancy. Available from: http://americanpregnancy.org/getting-pregnant/early-pregnancy-symptoms/ [Accessed 24th September 2018]
Fantasia HC. (2014) A new pharmacologic treatment for nausea and vomiting of pregnancy. Nursing for women’s health 18(1). Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24548499 [Accessed 24th September 2018]
Healthline. (2018) Early pregnancy symptoms. Available from: https://www.healthline.com/health/pregnancy/early-symptoms-timeline [Accessed 24th September 2018]
Hyperemis RCOG. (2016) The management of nausea and vomiting of pregnancy and hyperemesis gravidarum. The Green Top Guideline No. 69. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23863612 [Accessed 24th September 2018]
Koren G, Boskovic R, Hard M, Maltepe C, Navioz Y, Einarson A. Motherisk- PUQE (pregnancy-unique quantification or emesis and nausea) scoring system for nausea and vomiting of pregnancy. (2002) American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology 186(5). Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12011891 [Accessed 24th September 2018]
Li Z, Pergolizzi JV, Huttner RP, Zampogna G, Breve F, Raffa RB. (2015) Management of opioid-induced constipation in pregnancy: a concise review with emphasis on the PAMORAs. Journal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeautics. 40: 615-619. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26573866 [Accessed 24th September 2018]
Mayo Clinic. (2017) Getting pregnant. Available from: https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/getting-pregnant/in-depth/symptoms-of-pregnancy/art-20043853 [Accessed 24th September 2018]
Negro A, Delaruelle Z, Ivanova TA, Khan S, Ornello R, Raffaelli B, Terrin A, Reuter U, Mitsikostas DD. (2017) Headache and pregnancy: a systematic review. J Headache Pain. 18(1):106. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29052046 [Accessed 24th September 2018]
NHS Choices. (2016) Signs and symptoms of pregnancy. Available from: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/signs-and-symptoms-pregnancy/#strange-tastes-smells-and-cravings [Accessed 24th September 2018]
Patient. (2017) Early pregnancy signs and symptoms. Available from: https://patient.info/health/early-pregnancy-signs-and-symptoms [Accessed 24th September 2018]
Gartland D, Brown S, Donath S, Perlen S. (2010) Women’s health in early pregnancy: Findings from an Australian nulliparous cohort study. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. 50 (5). Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21039372 [Accessed 24th September 2018]
Early pregnancy symptoms: 18 signs you might be pregnant
Could you be pregnant? For some women, the earliest symptoms of pregnancy appear in the first few weeks after conception.
Medically reviewed by Dr Sam Hay (B Med Sci, MBBS (Hons), FRACGP, GDip Sport Med, Dip Child Health). Dr Sam Hay has been a practicing general practitioner in Australia since 2005, with a special interest in Paediatrics.
Even before you miss a period, you may suspect – or hope – that you’re pregnant.
For some women, early symptoms of pregnancy begin in the first few weeks after conception.
Pregnancy symptoms can also vary in their intensity, frequency and duration.
The following early signs and symptoms of pregnancy checklist are only a guideline.
Many early pregnancy symptoms can appear similar to routine pre-menstrual discomforts.
So what are the signs…?
Which of these did you experience? Source: supplied.
1. Tender, swollen breasts
Your breasts may provide one of the first symptoms of pregnancy. As early as two weeks after conception, hormonal changes may make your breasts tender, tingly or sore. Or your breasts may feel fuller and heavier.
Healthline.com says it is not uncommon to develop noticeable veins on your breasts, which is due to an increase in blood volume due to the growing needs of your baby.
Tips to combat tender breasts: wear a supportive wire-free bra, wear loose-fitting clothes, communicate to your partner or children and ask them to be careful in this area, try a cold compress or warm shower.
Progesterone is a funny thing, even in early pregnancy, it can cause big changes to your body. It causes your muscles to relax and this includes the muscles in your intestines, so your digestion can slow down. This can cause bloating, burping and passing wind.
According to several studies, as cited in Clinics in Colon and Rectal Surgery, “the incidence of constipation in pregnancy ranged from 10 to 40 percent,” which means if you’re suffering from this condition, you’re not alone.
Fatigue and tiredness also ranks high among early symptoms of pregnancy. During early pregnancy, levels of the hormone progesterone soar. In high enough doses, progesterone can put you to sleep. At the same time, lower blood sugar levels, lower blood pressure and increased blood production may team up to sap your energy during your pregnancy.
A study published in Sleep Medicine looked at the average hours of sleep during pregnancy, and discovered that women slept an average of 7.01 hours per night in the first two months of pregnancy. This increased slightly in months three and four, but went downhill after that, ending in 6.31 hours per night after eight months of pregnancy.
4. More prominent veins
As the uterus expands to make room for the growing fetus, pressure can be placed on the inferior vena cava which is the large blood vessel that runs down the right side of your body. This reduces blood flow to the legs causing varicose veins. But it doesn’t stop there! Some women experience these in their vulva (“vulval varicosities”) or even worse afflictions known as “hemorrhoids”. Early in pregnancy, some women liken their breasts to “road maps” due to the added prominence of these blue veins (see point 1).
5. Slight bleeding or cramping
Sometimes a small amount of spotting or vaginal bleeding is one of the first symptoms of pregnancy. Known as implantation bleeding, it can happen when the fertilised egg attaches to the lining of the uterus – about 10 to 14 days after fertilisation. This type of bleeding is usually a bit earlier and lighter in colour than a normal period and doesn’t last as long.
A 2010 study published in Annals of Epidemiology revealed that one in four pregnant women experienced bleeding. Only eight percent of those reported heavy bleeding, and most episodes lasted less than three days and occurred between five and eight weeks gestation.
Some women also experience abdominal cramping early in pregnancy. These cramps are similar to menstrual cramps. If you are ever concerned about bleeding or cramping, speak to your medical provider.
RELATED: The weirdest symptoms of early pregnancy
6. Nausea with or without vomiting
Morning sickness, which can strike at any time of the day or night, is one of the classic symptoms of pregnancy. For some women, the queasiness begins as early as two weeks after conception. Nausea seems to stem at least in part from rapidly rising levels of oestrogen, which causes the stomach to empty more slowly. We still don’t really know what causes morning sickness, but fluctuations in oestrogen levels, changes in blood pressure, and all the physical changes of pregnancy are likely major factors . Pregnant women also have a heightened sense of smell, so various odors – such as foods cooking, perfume or cigarette smoke – may cause waves of nausea in early pregnancy. There are some hints and tips to help combat the effects of morning sickness.
GP Dr Sam Hay says, “It’s worse when the stomach is completely empty. Having a pack of biscuits by the bed to make sure you are never completely hungry can help.
“Eating ginger or drinking ginger tea or ginger beer helps most expecting mums as well. In extreme cases chat to your GP or obstetrician about anti-nausea medications that are completely safe for you to take even during the earliest months of your pregnancy.”
Article continues after graphic.
7. Food aversions or cravings
When you’re pregnant, you might find yourself turning up your nose at certain foods, such as coffee or fried foods. Food cravings are common too. Like most other symptoms of pregnancy, these food preferences can be chalked up to hormonal changes – especially in the first trimester, when hormonal changes are the most dramatic.
Dr Sam Hay says: “There’s no proof that what you are craving is a sign of what your body needs for the baby. For example, drinking two litres of orange juice a day doesn’t mean you’re Vitamin C deficient.
“Be sensible with your eating during pregnancy. Sure, spoil yourself every now and again, but you aren’t eating for two. Eat the best foods you can eat for yourself, and baby will take all the nutrients it needs.”
RELATED: What to eat in your first trimester, according to a nutritionist
Early in pregnancy, increased blood circulation caused by hormonal changes may trigger frequent, mild headaches.
Tips to combat headaches from HealthDirect:
- getting more sleep or rest and relaxation
- pregnancy yoga classes or other exercise
- practising good posture, particularly later in your pregnancy
- eating regular, well-balanced meals
- putting a warm facecloth on your eye and nose area, if it is a sinus headache
- putting a cold pack on the back of your neck, taking a bath or using a heat pack, if it is a tension headache
- neck and shoulders massage
Constipation is another common early symptom of pregnancy. According to a report published in The Obstetrician and Gynaecologistjournal, “rising progesterone levels in pregnancy contribute to slow gut motility,” which means those pregnancy hormones are slowing down your digestion, which can lead to constipation.
Tips to combat constipation: increase fiber and water intake and if symptoms persist, see your doctor for advice before taking any sort of laxatives or stool softeners.
10. Mood swings
The flood of hormones in your body in early pregnancy can make you unusually emotional and weepy. Mood swings also are common, especially in the first trimester.
11. Faintness and dizziness
As your blood vessels dilate and your blood pressure drops, you may feel lightheaded or dizzy. Early in pregnancy, faintness also may be triggered by low blood sugar.
12. Metallic taste in the mouth
Many women find that in the first few weeks of pregnancy their taste buds are affected. Some people say it’s a metallic taste, others say it’s more sour. The taste is actually something called dysgeusia, and it is caused by pregnancy hormones, particularly oestrogen. It isn’t dangerous and usually disappears after the first trimester.
Studies say this usually improves after the first trimester, but if you’re looking for ways to combat, you could try:
- eating sugar-free mints or gum
- chewing on ice chips
- eating foods high in citrus or vinegars to drown out the taste
13. Stuffy nose
A blocked sinus is often an early sign of pregnancy. An increase in oestrogen levels can make the sinus passages swell and produce more mucous. If you think you might be pregnant be sure to speak to a doctor before taking any decongestants.
RELATED: How to track your cycle
Did you track your temperature to conceive? Source: iStock.
14. Raised basal body temperature
Your basal body temperature is your oral temperature when you first wake up in the morning. This temperature increases slightly soon after ovulation and remains at that level until your next period. If you’ve been charting your basal body temperature to determine when you ovulate, its continued elevation for more than two weeks may mean that you’re pregnant.
15. Missed Period
Perhaps the most obvious early symptom of pregnancy is when you’ve missed your period. This possible sign of pregnancy is often what causes women to search for more details about the other pregnancy symptoms.
Some women might only experience a much lighter period compared to their usual. You might not experience any of the pregnancy signs listed below until around the time you notice you’ve missed your monthly cycle.
16. Vivid dreams and nightmares
Those pesky hormones have been blamed for an increase in vivid dreams and nightmares too. But there is also another explanation. A pregnant woman’s sleep is often broken during pregnancy, whether it’s from those midnight bathroom runs, baby movement or cramps. And the more recent a dream is, the more likely it will be remembered.
A study published in Sleep Medicine reported that 43.5 percent of pregnant women experienced “vivid dreams” during pregnancy.
RELATED: Safe sleep guidelines during pregnancy
17. Bleeding gums or a bleeding nose
Hormonal changes during pregnancy can make your gums more vulnerable to plaque, leading to inflammation and bleeding, known as pregnancy gingivitis or gum disease.
Due to an increase in hormones, gums are more likely to become inflamed and bleed when brushed or flossed. The blood vessels in the nose can also expand during pregnancy, increasing the risk of nose bleeds.
18. Just “feeling” pregnant
This early pregnancy symptom may be the reason why you are checking this list right now. Many women believe they have an intuition about pregnancy signs. Their intuition is often proven correct.
Maybe you just feel different; tired, moody, queasy, lightheaded. You may also have heartburn, constipation, or find yourself making more frequent trips to the toilet. Perhaps you feel a dull ache or stiffness in your lower back, you have sore breasts or they seem overly sensitive, or you are simply not feeling like your usual self.
Did you feel tired or light-headed? Source: iStock.
How can you really tell if you are pregnant?
Unfortunately, these symptoms aren’t unique to pregnancy. Some can indicate that you’re getting sick or that your period is about to start. Likewise, you can be pregnant without experiencing any of these symptoms.
Still, if you miss a period or notice any of the tip-offs on this list, you might want to take a home pregnancy test – especially if you’re not keeping track of your menstrual cycle or if it varies widely from one month to the next. If your home pregnancy test is positive, make an appointment with your health care provider. The sooner your pregnancy is confirmed, the sooner you can begin prenatal care.
If you are worried about possible early symptoms of pregnancy, you can put your mind at ease with a pregnancy test. More than just a pregnancy symptom, this is scientific proof positive of whether you are expecting a baby or not.
Pregnancy tests work best if you wait to take them until at least a day or two after you miss your period. Even if the pregnancy test result is negative you should try it again a few days later to be sure.
To help you on your journey to conceiving, you can take prenatal vitamins and supplements that will keep you in good health and ease some of the less-than-pleasant side-effects of pregnancy.
Medically reviewed by Dr Sam Hay
Emotional changes in pregnancy | Tommy’s
Whether your pregnancy was planned or unplanned, it’s natural to have mixed emotions about it. You may swing from excited to worried, or happy to sad and back again. Pregnancy hormones such as oestrogen and progesterone can contribute to giving you this mix of emotional highs and lows, especially in the first three months.
“I did start to doubt myself, thinking ‘Am I doing something wrong? Is my body not right?’ It can be quite daunting thinking, ‘Do women literally glow through nine months of pregnancy?”
Sarah, mum of one. Read more…
Pregnancy worries, fears and stress
Having a baby changes everything and it’s very common to worry about the future. Many women ask themselves questions like:
- How will I cope with giving birth?
- Will my baby be OK?
- Will I be a good mother?
- Will this change my relationship with my partner?
- How will we manage for money?
- Can I go back to work or education afterwards?
- Will I still have a life of my own?
- Will a previous pregnancy problem happen again?
- Will something that I’ve done/eaten/drunk harm the baby?
“It always felt as if the appointments were a long way apart. Because it was my first baby, I constantly wanted reassurance that everything was okay and worried all the time that something would go wrong.”
Esther, mum of one
How your changing body affects your feelings
Pregnancy changes your body, which can also affect how you feel. Some women love the physical experience of being pregnant and feel strong and positive. Others don’t enjoy pregnancy or like the way they look and feel. For example, you may have concerns about how much weight you’re putting on and how long it will take to lose it. Or you may be feeling sick or tired, which can all make you feel fed up.
Try not to be too hard on yourself. We are constantly bombarded with seemingly perfect images of happy, healthy women having the time of their lives during pregnancy in glossy magazines and on social media. But the reality is often very different. Not everyone enjoys how pregnancy affects their body and makes them feel.
It’s natural to feel a bit anxious about how pregnancy will change your body. But it’s important to ask for help if you are having negative feelings that won’t go away or that are too much to cope with. Talk to your midwife or doctor if you have any concerns or worries about your changing body.
Sex, pregnancy and your emotions
It’s completely natural for your sex drive to change during pregnancy. Some women enjoy having sex while they’re pregnant and others don’t. This can sometimes cause anxiety for couples, especially if one of you wants to have sex and the other doesn’t.
There are many reasons why your sex life may change in pregnancy, such as:
- your pregnancy symptoms, such as morning sickness or tiredness, are putting you off
- you feel physically uncomfortable during sex
- you feel self-conscious about your changing body
- you or your partner are concerned that sex will hurt the baby
- your partner sees you as a mother, rather than ‘sexy’ (or you are concerned that they do)
- you or your partner are feeling anxious about parenthood.
Keep in mind that it is perfectly safe to have sex during pregnancy, unless your doctor or midwife has told you not to. Having sex will not hurt your baby.
Talk to your partner if you are worried about your sex life. It may help you both if you can talk about your feelings about sex, how they’ve changed and why. Talking together now can give both of you the chance to air any concerns or worries you may have. You may be able to defuse any tension and reassure each other. You may also be able to find other ways of being intimate with each other that doesn’t involve sex. You can also talk to your midwife if you have any concerns about sex during or after pregnancy.
Find out more about sex in pregnancy.
Coping with pregnancy worries and stress
Don’t be hard on yourself if you are anxious and stressed about these sorts of things.
You may have expected to feel excited and happy throughout your pregnancy, but no one can feel positive all the time. There are many reasons why some women don’t enjoy being pregnant. It doesn’t mean it was a mistake to get pregnant or that you won’t love your baby.
Try not to feel guilty about feeling down at a time when some people expect you to be happy. How you feel is how you feel and many people will understand what you’re going through.
“I felt really reluctant to get any help from anybody because I felt like I was being stupid. I have a lovely partner and a very supportive family unit and in hindsight I should have asked for help.”
Kate, mum of one
Here are things you can do to help yourself get through it:
Share your worries
Many women find that it helps to talk to someone they trust about what’s bothering them. Talking to people about how you feel can be a huge relief and help remind you that you’re not alone. Some women use online pregnancy forums. You’ll probably find that other people are having similar experiences and you may get some good ideas about how to deal with any problems.
You may also find it helpful to talk to your midwife or doctor about how you feel.
Make a wellbeing plan
Our online Wellbeing Plan is a tool that helps you start thinking about how you feel and what support you might need in your pregnancy and after the birth.
You can use it to help you talk to your partner, family, friends or midwife about how you are feeling.
Early signs and symptoms of pregnancy
Every pregnancy is different so if you don’t have any of these early signs, don’t worry. If you notice one or more of these symptoms, take a pregnancy test.
Your period is late
This is a classic sign of pregnancy. If your period is late, take a pregnancy test to check whether you are pregnant.
You can keep track of your period by marking the days in a calendar or by using an app.
About eight to ten days after ovulation, you might have some cramps in your lower tummy. You may also have a slight pink, red or brown staining around the time you expect your period. This is known as implantation bleeding and is caused by the fertilised egg settling into the lining of your womb.
‘I thought I’d had a period when I’d actually missed it and it was cramps/spotting.’ Tanya, mum-to-be
Even though your baby is still smaller than a peanut, the first few weeks of pregnancy can be draining, both physically and emotionally. You may have extreme tiredness, caused by changes in your body.
Early pregnancy tiredness is not like ordinary tiredness – you may feel completely exhausted after a normal day’s activities. The best way to deal with this symptom is to listen to your body and get more rest.
Some women have breast tenderness or a tingly feeling in their breasts during the early weeks of pregnancy. The skin around your nipples may look bumpier than usual, too. These bumps are called ‘Montgomery’s tubercules’ and they secrete an oily fluid to prepare your nipples for breastfeeding.
Your breasts may also feel heavier. Many of these symptoms are because of the extra hormones that you have in your body during pregnancy.
Funny taste in your mouth
Have you suddenly gone off your favourite food or do you have a strange metallic taste in your mouth? These are signs of early pregnancy. Some women also complain about having too much saliva.
Some women also report being more sensitive to smells
Need to wee more often
In early pregnancy you may need to pass urine more often than usual because your womb is expanding and pressing on your bladder.
The hormone progesterone also makes you need to wee more, as well as sometimes causing constipation.
Feeling nauseous and/or being sick
New pregnancy hormones are flooding your body and, for some women, the reaction to this is to feel sick. Some women feel slightly queasy and others may actually be sick. This is commonly known as morning sickness but it can happen at any time of the day.
You might be more sensitive to smells, including food and cooking.
If you can’t keep any food or water down talk to to your midwife or GP because there is a risk that you may become dehydrated.
Not all mums-to-be will get strange cravings but hormonal changes can trigger them in some women.
Hormones are natural chemicals that help your body manage your pregnancy, prepare it for the birth and help produce milk for your baby. The hormones oestrogen and progesterone flood your body in the first 12 weeks. It is these hormones that can also make you feel more emotional than normal.
You may find that you are laughing one minute, then crying the next. Don’t worry, this is normal.
Pregnancy brings anxieties and stresses as well as happiness. However, if you are a feeling down or anxious for a large part of the day and it seems to be lasting longer than a couple of weeks it is important that you talk to your midwife or GP about how you are feeling.
The much talked about glow of happiness can actually make women who are not feeling this very isolated. It is common to feel stress and anxiety in pregnancy and you need to keep an eye on your emotional well-being as well as your physical well-being.
Download our Wellbeing Plan [PDF] to help you talk to your midwife about this.
The symptoms above are just some of the most common but there are many others. Your pregnancy will be unique to you and your symptoms might be too. If you’re trying to get pregnant, listen to your body and look out for any changes.
‘One of my earliest signs is a rumbling tummy and feeling constantly hungry!’ Clio, mum of two
What to do next
If you’re experiencing one or more of the symptoms above, take a pregnancy test. However, if you haven’t missed a period yet it may be too early to tell, or your test result may be inaccurate.
Positive pregnancy test
If you have done a test and it was positive, read about the five things to do when you find out you’re pregnant.
Negative pregnancy test
A negative result might not be reliable if you took it too soon.
If you do a home test very early and have a negative result, do another test in two to three days’ time if you still haven’t had your period. If you continue to get negative results and still don’t have a period, talk to your doctor.
Getting pregnant can take longer than you were expecting. Find out how conception works.
90,000 Emotions and Pregnancy | Official website of the Vologda Regional Psychiatric Hospital
Most people know that pregnancy has its own special aura that cannot be compared with anything else. During pregnancy, life is filled with new meaning and new sensations. Your inner world is enriched with a special inner light, and you get the feeling that you are performing a high and special task. Expectant mothers describe a sense of high responsibility that they have not previously felt.
Despite the fact that the birth of a baby is a longed-for event, the importance of this changes the entire spiritual world of a woman, and makes her think and ask herself all new questions: “How will my life change? How will the pregnancy go? How will my career develop in the future? Will I be able to provide a good future for my child? Will I become a worthy mother? ”
Such mental anxiety can cause loss of strength and changes in emotional sensitivity, as well as the cause of toxicosis or the threat of termination of pregnancy.
The initial period of pregnancy takes place with dramatic changes in the physiology and psychology of women. Not all women find it easy to accept these changes. There is a need to control your feelings. A woman needs to realize what this comes from, what new feelings mean. During this crucial period, psychologists do not recommend solving all issues at the same time. You need to postpone them for a while, and, there is a possibility that the problems will disappear without any effort from the outside.
Pregnancy is a rare period in life when a woman can afford not to react to various life difficulties, not to show a harsh attitude towards them. During this period, a woman can afford not to feel remorse and not feel guilty at the same time. It is important to know that the baby needs your care, affection and love. To begin with, you need to understand and accept your own state, allow yourself to be pregnant. Understanding your own condition means accepting the fact that your baby is born.
Pregnancy should not be associated with prohibition, it is the moment of your inner freedom. Pamper yourself – you can lie down and relax during the daytime or eat something delicious. Change everything – your old habits and repetitive phrases, for example: don’t say that you can no longer wear tight-fitting trousers, say it’s time to update your wardrobe. You just need to change your perception of the world, and you will immediately find peace.
Pregnancy changes a woman, making her more fragile, restless and sensitive.Even the smallest excuse can upset a pregnant woman. Many women feel trapped by nausea and physical changes. Doctors believe that this behavior arises from hormonal changes in the body.
During pregnancy, a woman becomes more irascible and nervous. It is not worth scolding yourself for showing incontinence, you must learn to avoid unnecessary guilt for your “weakness”. This can be learned in psychological courses at antenatal clinics.Psychologists have come to the conclusion that this condition is a natural sign for the expectant mother. They believe that a woman should definitely relax at such moments. This will help both during pregnancy and during childbirth, and will leave a positive mark throughout your life.
The easiest way to relax at home is to turn on and listen to a pleasant melody. You can enjoy the music while lying down. In this case, you need to focus your attention on breathing. Breathe in and out.You need to imagine that after each exhalation, you relax and find peace. It is necessary to create a pleasant environment that will help you create a harmony of happiness.
The hormone of happiness is endorphin, which is produced by the pineal gland, or pineal gland. Scientists have found that during childbirth, endorphins regulate the contractile work of the uterus, after which the threshold of pain sensitivity changes, because of this, pain sensations decrease and their frequency during childbirth decreases.The hormone endorphin acts on muscle relaxation, under its influence anesthesia occurs, blood circulation improves, and an emotional uplift appears. Endorphins help raise prolactin levels. Prolactin is a hormone that stimulates lactation after childbirth. It helps in feeding the baby.
To increase the production of this hormone, classical music, board games, drawing, pleasant communication, meditation, eating sweets, as well as smiling and laughter contribute.Smile as often as possible! You need to smile a lot. Smiling is a sign of self-sufficiency. When you smile, your brain automatically adds happiness hormones. You cannot close and hide from the world around you. You need to share your feelings with loved ones, or talk to a psychologist, with women who are also pregnant. It is necessary to formulate your thoughts in a positive way, to focus your attention on positive feelings. In a pregnant woman, the unconscious is as open as possible for the perception of any information.Both received from outside, and arisen during the period of reflection or conversation. The famous American linguist B. Wharf, the founder of the theory of “linguistic relativity”, argued that how a person speaks, so he lives. We must try to teach ourselves to express thoughts and pronounce them differently, to replace negative language clichés, that is, programs, with positive ones. In this case, it is necessary to analyze your thoughts, statements, reflections, the style of your speech turns. Try to make more positive statements, which in turn will develop into an emotionally favorable aura.
One of the main points for a favorable course of pregnancy is communication with your baby, the father of the child. During pregnancy, new good family relationships are created, or vice versa, misunderstandings are created. For a woman, the most important thing is help from a loved one. But a man also has difficulties during his wife’s pregnancy. It is not easy for him to realize that a man is growing inside you. The man is also worried about the changes that have occurred in your body, and in the family in general.
Few men are happy to chat with a child or enjoy when he pushes. This is not proof that a man is indifferent. He experiences the state of pregnancy in a special way. A woman should educate him about pregnancy. He needs to get information about what is happening. You should visit a doctor together, and go for an ultrasound scan together. Many men, when they see a child through a screen, completely change their attitude, as if they were convinced that the child really exists.
It is necessary to pronounce the word “We”, this is an additional factor of the fact that you are not alone. Tell your husband how you feel. If, in the beginning, you do not achieve what you want, do not be discouraged and do not blame your husband for not understanding you. Most men do not know how to show their feelings. To get closer, the husband can participate during childbirth. He can hold your hand, remind you how to breathe. Participation in childbirth will help him understand that he is already a father.
Do not forget that you carry the whole world inside you for the baby, the more you are filled with positive feelings, the better your child develops.Communication with a baby makes a woman’s life richer, helps to look at life differently, creates new feelings and sensations. In your thoughts, talk to your child more often, tell him your emotions and thoughts. More often imagine that you will have a healthy, strong and beautiful child, such thoughts are well reflected in the development of the baby.
Head of the women’s department, psychiatrist E. N. Piorova
Material prepared on the basis of a review of Internet articles from www.zabolevaniya.ru
90,000 Psychological characteristics of a woman during pregnancy and childbirth
Tell me, what are you afraid of … Anxieties and fears of expectant mothers
In our complex and far from unambiguous world, everyone knows the feeling of anxiety, and any object or phenomenon can become the object of fear. It can hardly be considered accidental that from 30 to 40% of people at least once in their life experienced severe anxiety, and some even panic. Let’s try to figure out why this is happening.
Why are we afraid?
The feeling of anxiety is a signal of unexpected changes occurring in the surrounding world or in one’s own body and helps to react in time to danger.However, if anxiety is expressed excessively, then, on the contrary, it interferes with normal life.
During pregnancy, the entire body of a woman undergoes significant changes, which in itself contributes to the development of anxiety. Physiological changes in the central nervous system lead to the fact that overwork, a weakened physical condition may well lead to anxiety. That is, the expectant mother is initially, physiologically, predisposed to anxiety.
In addition, during the period of expectation of a child, the woman’s interests are dominated by the birth and health of the unborn child, everything else fades into the background.However, the woman may not feel ready to take care of the baby. Responsibility for the child generates increased demands on myself – can I cope, can I succeed? Excessive demands on yourself, the desire to achieve the ideal and become an exemplary mom also lead to anxiety.
Another important point: the development of anxiety is facilitated by the isolation of the expectant mother from active life – especially when she does not work and sits at home – the lack of new impressions and positive emotions, as well as negative someone else’s experience (suppose that a friend who has already given birth has painted you in detail the horrors childbirth and the very troublesome life of a young mother), the appearance of anxiety during this period is quite predictable (according to the observations of doctors, one third of all women experience something similar during pregnancy).If you have always strived to give your lifestyle some stability and balance, if you do not like surprises and surprises, it is likely that an event such as the birth of a child will make you think: “How will it turn out?” The inevitable changes that will occur in your family after your baby is born are also a source of anxiety.
Anxiety is an uncertain fear projected into the future. Everything seems to be fine, but the person is in constant expectation that something bad is about to happen to him or to his loved ones.This is a painful experience of impending disaster, when you do not know where and when the misfortune will happen, but you are sure that it will happen.
If anxiety becomes so severe and frequent that it deprives a person of the ability to normal life, then this is a sign of an anxiety disorder. It is characterized by tension reaching trembling, pronounced discomfort, when because of anxiety it is difficult to sit still, the heart beats faster, “there is not enough air”, sweating intensifies, there may be weakness, lightheadedness, dizziness, a feeling of “a lump in the throat.”This condition needs treatment.
What are we afraid of?
It is extremely difficult to endure a state of anxiety, it seems that danger comes from everywhere. It is much easier to know exactly what to fear. Fortunately, life provides many situations for “objectifying” anxiety. As soon as a specific fear appears, it immediately becomes easier, calmer. We know how to deal with it, what to do to protect ourselves. Thus, finding a specific fear helps to alleviate the condition.
A subject for fear can be learned from early negative childhood experiences. It can be borrowed from its parents or from the huge cultural heritage of all mankind. Moreover, there are assumptions that a person is able to remember his intrauterine experiences and find frightening situations there.
Now let’s project these circumstances onto the psychological state that is characteristic of a woman during pregnancy and arrange in chronological order the factors that frighten expectant mothers.
- Unplanned spontaneous pregnancy: after seeing positive test results, a woman begins to frantically remember which alcoholic drinks she drank, how many cigarettes she smoked and what medications she took. If the counting results are disappointing, panic begins.
- Potential complications during pregnancy that may affect the health of the unborn child. The spectrum of excitement here is quite voluminous: from work at the computer, considered unhealthy, to previously unproduced vaccinations and fear of contracting the flu or rubella.
- Fear of childbirth: anticipation of pain, feeling of helplessness, lack of control over one’s own body.
- Genetic fears: the birth of a defective child due to irreversible natural causes.
- Aesthetic fears: fear of those changes that occur with the face and figure – will the previous form return?
- One of the most common fears is the fear of the health of the unborn child.
- Fear of becoming a bad mother: doubting one’s own ability to properly care for a child.
- Fear of responsibility for the fate of a child: no one is as responsible for the life and health of another person as a mother is for a child.
- Fear of the future: various changes in the family associated with the birth of a child – from material and housing difficulties to changes in relations with her husband and the collapse of a professional career.
The fact that a specific fear has appeared is not bad. Psychological protection worked, the process of adaptation to new living conditions began.Having found what to fear in the situation of pregnancy and childbirth, the woman’s psyche took the first step towards coping with anxiety. The next step is to expand your understanding of the hazard and actions to eliminate or minimize it.
Worse when a pathological or obsessive fear, called a phobia, develops. With a phobia, a person understands the absurdity of his fears, but is unable to resist them. The only way out that the patient sees is to avoid a frightening situation. Failure to take timely action in such circumstances can lead to a feeling of hopelessness and subsequent depression.
How to defeat fear
If anxiety prevents you from enjoying life in anticipation of pleasant future changes, you need to take action. In no case should you panic: you just need not emotionally, but rationally approach this issue. You should start with a qualified medical examination.
With a pre-planned pregnancy, there will be much less worries. Spouses have the opportunity to undergo a complete examination to prevent possible problems.
Spontaneous pregnancy requires closer medical supervision. The first twelve weeks, especially from the 5th to the 10th, are indeed the most dangerous in all respects, be it smoking, an infectious disease or a stressful situation. According to experts, if negative factors worked at the earliest possible date, then pregnancy will not develop. If it goes well, don’t worry. It’s just that such a pregnant woman needs to be monitored more closely.
Fear of childbirth is easily overcome by attending childbirth preparation courses. Currently, there are various methods, the purpose of which is to form a woman’s readiness for childbirth. When choosing one or another course, keep in mind that classes with expectant mothers should include four main components:
- Psychoprophylactic training – these can be individual conversations and lectures that are aimed at eliminating negative emotions associated with childbirth and fear of them.The main goal of the psychophysiological preparation of pregnant women for childbirth is as follows: to develop a woman’s conscious attitude to pregnancy, to teach to perceive childbirth as a physiological process, and also to create a good emotional background and confidence in the favorable course of pregnancy and the completion of childbirth.
- Fear of pain during childbirth is overcome not only with the help of knowledge of the mechanism of childbirth, which is natural for a woman, but also the presence of a loved one, whom the woman trusts, helps a lot, it can be not only the husband, but also the doctor, midwife, with whom the woman in labor has developed trusting relations.
- Group sessions of special gymnastics are usually aimed at training breathing and muscle groups that have to work especially hard during childbirth: abdominal muscles, pelvic floor muscles.
- Knowledge of the physiology of newborns also relieves the mother of numerous worries about his health, and classes that teach child care can really ease the troublesome future of a young mother.
Usually, such classes are held in groups of 6-8 people, this is important, again psychologically, the opportunity to communicate with other women, exchange impressions and talk about problems of concern to expectant mothers creates a feeling of being involved in an active life, helps to understand that your fears are shared by many women.
So trust in modern medicine, knowledge of physiological processes and psychological preparation will help to dispel many fears of expectant mothers. We are afraid of what we do not know. So let’s try to find out everything in time! Reliable information can radically change the situation – the only condition is your desire for this change.
Psychotherapy will help you
If the general practitioners could not dispel the fears associated with your health and the health of the baby (assuring you that everything is in order), then psychotherapists and medical psychologists will come to the rescue.For a long time, there have been proven trainings and techniques that have proven themselves well in practice.
Usually the hardest part is realizing the problem. The upcoming changes are indeed very exciting. They cannot help but worry, but the problem is inadequate perception of the situation, which leads to negative emotions, to the same anxiety and fear. And those, in turn, push to inappropriate actions leading to the emergence of various stressful situations (problems in the family, at work, significant losses, etc.).etc.). In this case, persistent foci of arousal appear in the central nervous system, which can lead to complications of pregnancy.
Cognitive-behavioral psychotherapy is considered the most effective method of overcoming anxiety. This method is based on the fact that it is a person’s thinking – his way of perceiving himself, the world and other people – that determines his behavior, his feelings and his problems. Having rebuilt his inadequate thinking and developing the ability to think more realistically and constructively, a person begins to look at the world and his place in it in a completely different way – he learns to live, adjusting to circumstances that he cannot change.
Nobody says that pregnancy and childbirth are easy, but you know very well that a woman’s body is specially designed for this, and an adult woman can bear and give birth to a healthy child without harm to her health. It is important to take care of qualified medical care in advance, it is worthwhile to rationally solve material or housing problems – where and on what to live – it is quite possible, having previously discussed this with your husband and other relatives.
When you leave the walls of the hospital with your baby, you will have to adapt to the new routine of life.In the meantime, you cannot influence the situation in any way and do not have to control it – in your current situation, you can only wait and extract the maximum of positive emotions from what is happening at the moment.
Your lack of confidence in your abilities, lack of experience does not mean at all that you really will not be able to cope. You may think that you are not capable of gentleness, patience and understanding in relation to the unborn baby. Perhaps, in your previous life, such feelings were forbidden or did not meet with reciprocal tenderness and warmth.So now you don’t know if you are capable of them. Do not forget that in your pursuit of excellence, you can distract from the main thing – the realization of the happiness of motherhood. Remember that nature has already given you everything you need for a successful motherhood.
the article was published in the Journal “9 months” No. 02, – 2005
90,000 Feelings after embryo transfer
In vitro fertilization has helped many couples suffering from infertility to become happy parents of a long-awaited baby.
When all the examinations have been passed, the test results have been received, artificial insemination and embryo transfer into the uterus have been carried out, the waiting period for the onset of pregnancy begins.
Feelings after embryo transfer as part of an IVF program may appear after a certain period of time. If a woman feels the first signs a couple of days after the procedure, then they are caused only by her imagination.
The waiting period is very emotionally stressful.At this stage, the patient should be distracted from disturbing thoughts and try to receive only positive emotions. The support of loved ones, their attention, care and love is extremely important. When a woman cannot overcome her feelings and emotional stress does not decrease, the doctor may recommend taking soothing herbal preparations, valerian, motherwort, etc.
Feelings during embryo transfer do not appear immediately, it is possible to determine the onset of pregnancy only on the 14th day. After the embryos have been transplanted into the uterus of the expectant mother, she needs to adhere to some restrictions in her usual lifestyle, namely:
- on the first day after embryo transfer, it is recommended to observe a sparing regimen;
- Intensive physical exertion, heavy lifting should be avoided;
- leisurely walks in the fresh air for half an hour are recommended daily;
- in the early days it is recommended to refrain from driving a car;
- a woman needs a healthy sleep of at least 8 hours a day;
- emotional stress and overwork should be excluded;
- it is necessary to avoid exposure to too high or low temperatures: refrain from going to the bath, sauna, prolonged exposure to intense sun, and avoid hypothermia;
- in the first days after implantation, you should adhere to sexual rest;
- it is recommended to abandon tight trousers, it is better to wear loose clothing;
- without fail, a correct and balanced diet is required: eat more vegetables and fruits, food rich in proteins.It is necessary to exclude the use of preservatives, as well as heavy fatty and spicy foods. It is also better to refrain from legumes, sauerkraut, mushrooms, smoked meats, sweets;
- Drink plenty of fluids – at least 2.5 liters per day. It can be mineral water without gas, natural juices, compotes, teas;
- a woman should exclude contact with patients, it is also necessary to avoid large gatherings of people, especially during epidemics;
- it is mandatory to quit bad habits: smoking, taking drugs and alcoholic beverages.
Sensations after embryo transfer
With artificial insemination, the sensations during embryo implantation are in most cases absent. Many women claim that they experience dizziness, bouts of nausea, increased fatigue, increased excitability and irritability, drowsiness, swelling and enlargement of the mammary glands and other symptoms of fetal implantation. However, all such sensations are often caused only by the emotional state of the patients. Only after the successful attachment of the embryo to the walls of the uterus and with its normal development, a woman can feel the first signs of a new position.At the same time, they are identical to the first symptoms of pregnancy that occurred naturally, and are expressed as:
- increase in basal body temperature;
- pulling pains in the lower abdomen and lower back;
- breast swelling;
- attacks of nausea and vomiting;
- mood swings;
- changes in taste preferences;
- frequent urination.
Symptoms are different for each woman.
Hormonal support after embryo transfer to the uterus
In most cases, after the embryo is transferred to the uterus, the patient is prescribed a course of hormonal therapy to maintain the function of the corpus luteum. The woman takes drugs containing progesterone (micronized progesterone, “Utrozhestan”, “Duphaston”, etc.). In some patients, due to hormonal therapy, there may be spotting spotting from the genital tract and pulling pains in the lower abdomen.
The introduction of preparations containing progesterone is carried out according to various schemes and in different dosages. They are prescribed by the doctor individually for each patient, depending on the level of endogenous hormone production and the state of the endometrium.
In case of severe pulling pains, you should definitely consult a doctor. It is categorically unacceptable to prescribe medication on your own.
Feelings after embryo transfer and pregnancy diagnosis
A pregnancy test or hCG test (human chorionic gonadotropin) is performed 14 days after the embryo transfer.A blood test allows you to determine the level of the hormone secreted by the embryo in case of successful implantation and the onset of a long-awaited pregnancy.
On the 14th day, the level of the hormone reaches certain values and on the basis of the test results obtained, one can judge the onset of pregnancy. The hormone content is determined in mU / ml of blood plasma. The test result is positive when hCG values are higher than 25 mU / ml, negative – when the indicator is less than 5 mU / ml.
This test must be performed in conjunction with ultrasound, as it is not a reliable diagnostic sign.Most often it is used to track the development of pregnancy, as well as to diagnose an ectopic pregnancy.
In most pregnant women (in 86% of cases), the level of hCG in the blood doubles every 48-72 hours. However, the increase in the concentration of the hormone may pass less quickly, which may not be a signal that a woman will have an unhealthy child. It all depends on the individual characteristics of the organism.
The hCG level rises for the first four weeks, doubling every 2-3 days. At 6-7 weeks, its growth slows down somewhat – doubling occurs every 3-4 days.At 9-10 weeks, the level of the hormone in the body decreases significantly.
If pregnancy does not occur, menstruation begins a few days after the embryo transfer. In this case, taking hormonal drugs should be discontinued.
Diagnosis of pregnancy using ultrasound
During the ultrasound diagnosis, the doctor takes into account the results of the hCG tests. Ultrasound can detect the ovum only at a hormone level of 2000 mU / ml of blood plasma, which corresponds to 21-22 days of pregnancy.At this stage, an ultrasound scan is an extremely important measure to detect multiple pregnancies or ectopic pregnancies. For an accurate diagnosis, it is necessary to use a test for hCG in blood plasma in combination with an ultrasound scan.
Do not forget that the onset of pregnancy in the framework of the IVF program depends not only on the individual characteristics of the body of a potential mother, but also on the qualifications of doctors, as well as the quality of the clinic’s equipment.
Doctors of the IVF Center clinic in Oryol will examine a married couple, select an IVF program on an individual basis, give recommendations on how to normalize feelings after embryo transfer, and observe the development of pregnancy.We will definitely help you overcome infertility and become parents!
4th week of pregnancy: signs, sensations, size and development of the fetus
This week the placenta has already begun to form. She will play an important role in the production of specific hormones and nutrition of the child. At this stage, the embryo is smaller than a grain of rice, but each of its cells is programmed to perform a specific function.
Time of implantation! This week, a tiny blastocyst has found its way to the uterus and is eyeing a suitable place to settle in for the next 36 weeks or so.
Implantation usually occurs around the dates when the woman expects the beginning of the next period. Therefore, many women are not surprised if they have a little bleeding in the 4th week. But if the discharge is modest, it may not be menstruation, but implantation bleeding.
The wall of the uterus at this stage is so saturated with blood that any damage to it can lead to easy bleeding. Some women claim to have felt the moment of implantation. Who knows, maybe this is really possible.
Am I already happy?
If your period did not come on time, you most likely suspect what may be the cause. You may be experiencing early pregnancy symptoms and your body feels a little different than usual. But don’t worry if your feelings haven’t changed in any way. Even if you are in the 4th week, your body may not have time to reorganize yet.
Pregnancy can now be confirmed by blood or urine tests. Both methods are very sensitive to an increase in the concentration of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG).You can do a pregnancy test at home, and the best time to do this is in the morning, when the concentration of hCG in urine reaches its peak.
Physical changes this week
You may feel cramps in the lower abdomen. You may have a heaviness in your abdomen and increased gas production.
You may feel nauseous, especially if you haven’t eaten for a while. The smell or even the thought of certain foods can be disgusting to you, although you usually enjoy them.Coffee, fish, red meat, and even pet food can cause nausea.
Your breasts become softer and your nipples are especially sensitive. It may grow larger and more rounded, especially if you are small.
You may be going to the toilet more often to pee. This is due to an increase in blood volume and pressure from the uterus on the bladder.
You may have a slight discharge from implantation bleeding.
Emotional changes this week
You may be experiencing a mixture of anxiety and excitement right now. And you often run to the toilet to check if your period has started.
You may feel the same as before your period. Many women this week are a little more emotional, easily annoyed, and not in the mood at all.
You may be upset if you want to get pregnant, but the test is negative.Don’t keep it to yourself – discuss your emotions with your partner or best friend.
The opposite case can also turn out to be stress – if you did not plan to get pregnant, but the test showed two strips.
What happens to the baby this week
Your baby is the size of a poppy seed this week. It’s only begining!
In the 4th week of pregnancy, a lot of organizational work takes place inside the embryo.Three separate layers of cells begin to form.
The ectoderm (outer layer) will eventually become the baby’s skin, eyes, hair, nervous system, brain, and teeth.
The middle layer (mesoderm) will become the baby’s skeleton, muscles, kidneys, soft tissues and the circulatory system.
The inner layer (endoderm) will eventually become your baby’s internal organs.
Once a cell acquires a certain function, it can no longer turn into a different type of cell. Each of them is preprogrammed and knows what to do.
Tips of the Week
Buy a pregnancy test (or two). A false-positive result during the test is impossible, but a false-negative result at the earliest possible date is quite normal. If the test is positive, keep it as a keepsake.
Make an appointment with your doctor – the first of many.
Now let’s move on to week 5, when your baby finds a comfortable place to grow and develop.
Samana Glance Acrobat variant
PTSD is a normal reaction
to serious traumatic events.
This booklet discusses the signs,
symptoms and treatments for PTSD.
New York State
Department of Mental Health
Have you experienced a terrible and dangerous event? Note,
please, those cases in which you recognize yourself.
- Sometimes, for no apparent reason, as if everything that happened to me happens
again. I never know when to expect it again.
- I have nightmares and memories of that terrible incident
which I have experienced.
- I avoid places that remind me of that incident.
- I jump in place and feel uncomfortable with any sudden
movement or surprise. I feel alert all the time.
- It’s hard for me to trust someone and get close to someone.
- Sometimes I just feel emotionally drained and deaf.
- I am very easily pissed off.
- I am tormented by a feeling of guilt that others have died and I have survived.
- I do not sleep well and have muscle tension.
PTSD is a very serious condition that needs treatment.
Many people who survived terrible events suffer from this ailment.
It is not your fault that you got sick, and you should not suffer from it.
Read this booklet to find out how you can help.
You can get well and enjoy life again!
What is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)?
PTSD is a very serious condition. PTSD symptoms may occur in
a person who has experienced a terrible traumatic event. This ailment succumbs
PTSD can occur after you:
- Victim of sexual assault
- Have been a victim of physical or emotional domestic violence
- Become the victim of a violent crime
- Have been in a car accident or plane crash
- Survived a hurricane, tornado or fire
- Been in the war
- Lived a life-threatening event
- Witnessed any of the above events
With PTSD, you often have nightmares or eerie
memories associated with an experienced event.You try to hold on
away from anything that might remind you of your experience.
You are embittered and unable to trust anyone or care for others.
You are always on the alert and see a hidden threat in everything. It becomes not for you
on its own when something happens suddenly and without warning.
When does post-traumatic stress occur and how long does it last?
In most cases, PTSD manifests itself approximately
three months after the traumatic event.In some cases, signs
post-traumatic stress disorder manifests itself only years later. Post-traumatic
people of any age are exposed to stress. Even children are not immune from it.
Some get better after six months, while others may suffer from it
the disease is much longer.
Am I not the only one with this condition?
No, you are not alone. 5.2 million Americans suffer from PTSD every year.
Women suffer from this disease two and a half times more often than men.The traumatic events most commonly associated with PTSD in men are:
rape, participation in hostilities, neglect and abuse
in childhood. The most traumatic events in women are rape,
sexual abuse, physical assault, threat
weapons and childhood abuse.
What other conditions can be associated with PTSD?
Concomitant depression, alcoholism and drug addiction, or other common
anxiety disorders.The likelihood of successful treatment increases if these
concomitant diseases in time to identify and treat.
Frequent headaches, gastroenterological problems, problems with the immune
system, dizziness, chest pain or discomfort in others
parts of the body. It often happens that a doctor treats physical symptoms,
unaware that their cause lies in PTSD.
The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) recommends
therapists ask patients about their experiences of abuse, recent bereavements and
traumatic events, especially in cases where the symptoms are all the time
come back.Once PTSD is diagnosed, it is recommended that
a patient with a mental health professional who has
experience of treating patients with PTSD.
What do I need to do to help myself in this situation?
Talk to your doctor and tell him about your experience,
and how you feel. If you have terrible memories,
overwhelmed by depression and sadness if you have trouble sleeping and are constantly
angry – you should tell your doctor about all this.Tell him
do the listed conditions interfere with your daily activities and
lead a normal life. You can show your doctor this booklet.
This can help explain to him how you are feeling. Ask your doctor
examine you to make sure you are not physically ill.
Ask your doctor if he has had any patients with
post-traumatic stress. If your doctor does not have a special
preparation, ask him for directions to
a physician with relevant experience.
How can a doctor or psychotherapist help me?
Your doctor may prescribe medication to help ease your fear
or tension. However, it should be borne in mind that usually should pass
several weeks before the medicine takes effect.
Many people with PTSD benefit from talking
with a professional or other people who have experienced a traumatic event.
This is called “therapy.”Therapy can help you overcome your nightmare.
One person’s story:
“After I was attacked, I
constantly felt fear and depression, became irritable.
I could not sleep well and lost my appetite. Even when I tried not
thinking about what happened, I was tormented anyway
nightmares and terrible memories. ”
“I was completely at a loss and did not know what to do. One buddy
advised to see a doctor.My doctor helped me find a specialist in
post-traumatic stress. ”
“It took me a lot of strength, but after medication and a course
therapy, I gradually come to my senses. It’s good that I called my doctor then. ”
PTSD and the army
If you are a member of the armed forces, you have probably taken part in the fighting. You,
most likely they were in dire and life-threatening situations. You’ve been shot
you saw how your friend was shot, you saw death.Experienced
events can cause PTSD.
Experts say PTSD occurs:
- Almost 30% of Vietnam War veterans
- Almost 10% of Gulf War veterans
(Operation Desert Storm)
- Almost 25% of veterans of the war in Afghanistan (operations
“Injecting Freedom”) and veterans of the war in Iraq (Operation
Other factors in the military environment may add stress to and
so stressful situations and can contribute to the development of PTSD and other mental
problems.Among these factors are the following: your military specialty,
the political aspects of the war, where the battle takes place and who your enemy is.
Another reason contributing to PTSD in military personnel is
sexual assault in the military (MST) – any kind of sexual harassment or
sexual assault during military service. MST can happen
with men and women, and can occur in peacetime, during a military
training or during the war.
Veterans with Veterans Affairs (VA) health care include
- 90,068 23 out of 100 women (23%) reported sexual assault during
90,068 55 out of 100 women (55%) and 38 out of 100 men (38%) were exposed to
sexual harassment while serving in the army
Although the trauma of sexual assault in the military is more common
among women, more than half of veterans who have suffered a sexual injury
violence in the army is men.
Remember, you can get the help you need right now:
Tell your doctor what you have been through and how you feel.
If your doctor does not have specific training for the treatment of PTSD,
ask him for a referral to a doctor who has relevant experience.
Research on PTSD
To help those suffering from PTSD, National Conservation Institute
Mental Health (NIMH) supports research on PTSD,
as well as other topical PTSD-related research on
anxiety and fear.Research is challenged to find new ways to
help people cope with trauma, as well as find new treatment options and,
the main thing is to prevent the disease.
Research on possible risk factors for PTSD
Today, the attention of many scientists is focused on genes that play a role in
the occurrence of terrible memories. Understanding the mechanism of “creating” scary
memories can help improve or find new ways to relieve
PTSD symptoms.For example, PTSD researchers have identified genes that are responsible for:
Statmin – a protein involved in the formation process
terrible memories. During one experiment, mice were placed in
an environment designed to make them fearful. In this situation
mice lacking the statmin gene, in contrast to
normal mice were less likely to “freeze” – ie. exhibit
natural defensive reaction to danger. Also in the setting,
designed to cause innate fear in them, they demonstrated
to a lesser extent than normal mice, more willingly
mastering the open “dangerous” space. 1
GVP (gastrin-releasing peptide / GRP) – signaling substance
of the brain, released during emotional events. Have
mice, PRG helps to control the fear response, and the lack of
GWP can lead to a more prolonged
memories of fear. 2
Scientists have also discovered a variant of the 5-HTTLPR gene that controls the level of
serotonin (a substance in the brain associated with mood),
which, it turns out, fuels a fear response. 3 It looks like
in the case of other mental disorders, in the development of PTSD
different genes are involved, each of which contributes to the formation of the disease.
To understand the causes of PTSD also helps to study various sites
the brain responsible for fear and stress. One of these sites is
the cerebellar amygdala, which is responsible for emotions, assimilation of knowledge and memory.
It turned out that she plays an active role in the emergence of fear (or other
words, “teaches” to be afraid of something, for example, to touch a hot stove),
as well as in the early phases of fear extinguishing (or in other words, “teaches”
Do not be scared). 4
The storage of faded memories and the weakening of the initial fear response are linked.
with prefrontal cortex (PFC / PFC) of the brain, 4
responsible for making decisions, solving problems and assessing the situation. Each zone
PFC has its own role. For example, when the PFC believes that the source of stress is susceptible to
control, the medial prefrontal zone of the PFC suppresses the center of anxiety deeply
in the brain stem and controls the stress response. 5 Ventromedial PFC helps maintain
long-term fading of terrible memories, and on her ability to perform
this feature can be influenced by its size. 6
Individual differences in genes or characteristics of head regions
brains can only pave the way for PTSD, but not by themselves
cause no symptoms. Environmental factors such as
childhood trauma, head injury, or mental illness in
family, favor the development of the disease and increase the risk of disease,
affecting the brain in the early stages of its growth. 7 Except
In addition, how people adapt to trauma is likely to be influenced by
and characteristics of character and behavior, such as optimism and a tendency to consider
problems in a positive or negative way, as well as social factors such as
availability and use of social support.
8 Further research may
show what combination of these factors or what other factors will allow
ever predict who has a traumatic event
will cause PTSD and who will not.
Research on the treatment of PTSD
Currently, psychotherapy is used in the treatment of PTSD
(“Talking” therapy), drugs or drug-therapeutic combination.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) helps you learn differently
think and react to frightening events that trigger development
PTSD, and can help bring symptoms of the disease under control.There are several types
cognitive behavioral therapy, including:
Collision Technique – Uses mental imagery, notes, or site visits
trauma to help those affected face the overwhelming
their fear and take control of it.
Behavioral restructuring (cognitive restructuring) – induces
survivors of a traumatic event express depressing (often mistaken) thoughts about
experienced trauma, challenge these thoughts and replace them with more
balanced and appropriate.
Introduction to a stressful situation – teaches how to reduce
anxiety and coping with it, helping to ease the symptoms of PTSD,
and helps to correct erroneous trauma-related thoughts.
NIMH is currently conducting research to study the reaction
of the brain to cognitive behavioral therapy versus response
for sertraline (Zoloft) – one of two drugs recommended and approved
American Food and Drug Administration
agents (FDA) for the treatment of post-traumatic stress.This study can
help figure out why some people respond better to medications, and
others – for psychotherapy
Recently, in a small study, NIMH scientists found that if
patients who are already taking a dose of prazosin (Minipress) before bed,
add a daily dose, it reduces the general symptoms of PTSD and stress
reaction to reminders of the trauma experienced. 9
Another drug of interest is D-cycloserine (Seromycin),
which increases the activity of a substance in the brain called
N-methyl-D-aspartate needed to extinguish fear.During the research,
which was attended by 28 people suffering from a fear of heights, scientists
found that patients who received collision therapy before
D-cycloserine, showed lower levels of fear during the session
compared to those who did not receive the medicine.
10 Currently scientists
study the effectiveness of the combined use of D-cycloserine and
therapy for the treatment of post-traumatic stress.
Propranolol (Inderal), a beta-blocker drug, is also being studied
whether it can be used to ease post-traumatic stress and
interrupt the chain of occurrence of terrible memories. First experiments
gave comforting results: it was possible to successfully weaken and, it seems,
prevent PTSD in a small number of victims of traumatic events.
For example, in one preliminary study, scientists created a website
self-help based on the use of a psychotherapeutic method
introduction into a stressful situation.PTSD patients first meet with
a doctor. After this meeting, participants can visit the site to find
more information about PTSD and how to deal with the problem; their doctors
can also go to the site to give advice if necessary or
briefing. In general, scientists believe that therapy in this form –
a promising treatment for a large number of people suffering from
Scientists are also working to improve verification methods,
early treatment and follow-up of massive trauma survivors,
developing ways to teach them self-examination skills and
introspection and referral mechanism to psychiatrists (if necessary).
PTSD Research Prospects
In the last decade, rapid progress in the study of mental and biological foundations
PTSD has led scientists to the need to focus on prevention,
as the most realistic and important goal.
For example, to find ways to prevent PTSD, with funding
NIMH conducts research on the development of new and orphan drugs,
aimed at combating the underlying causes of the disease.In the course of another
research scientists are looking for ways to enhance behavioral, personal and
social protective factors and minimizing risk factors for
preventing the development of PTSD after trauma. Another study is doing
studying the question of what factors influence the difference in reaction to one or another
a way of treatment that will help in the development of a more individual,
effective and productive treatments.
Where can I find more information?
MedlinePlus – Resource of the American National Library of Medicine
(U.S. National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health) –
offers the latest information on many health issues. Information about
You can find PTSD at:
National Institute of Mental Health
Office of Science Policy, Planning, and Communications
[National Institute for Mental Health
Science Policy Division
Research, Planning & Liaison]
6001 Executive Boulevard
Room 8184, MSC 9663
Bethesda, MD 20892-9663
Phone: 301-443-4513; Fax: 301-443-4279
Fax Answer System,
Toll Free Voicemail: 1-866-615-NIMH (6464)
Text Phone: 1-866-415-8051 Toll Free
nimhinfo @ nih.gov
National Center for Post-traumatic Stress Disorder
[National Post Traumatic Stress Center]
VA Medical Center (116D)
215 North Main Street
White River Junction, VT 05009
- Shumyatsky GP, Tsvetkov E, Malleret G, et al. Identification of a signaling
network in lateral nucleus of amygdala important for inhibiting
memory specifically related to learned fear.Cell. Dec 13 2002; 111 (6): 905-918.
- Hariri AR, Mattay VS, Tessitore A, et al. Serotonin transporter genetic variation and the
response of the human amygdala.Science. Jul 19 2002; 297 (5580): 400-403.
- Milad MR, Quirk GJ. Neurons in medial prefrontal cortex signal memory
for fear extinction. Nature. Nov 7 2002; 420 (6911): 70-74.
- 5 Amat J, Baratta MV, Paul E, Bland ST, Watkins LR, Maier SF.
Medial prefrontal cortex determines how stressor controllability affects
behavior and dorsal raphe nucleus.Nat Neurosci. Mar 2005; 8 (3): 365-371.
- Milad MR, Quinn BT, Pitman RK, Orr SP, Fischl B, Rauch SL. Thickness of ventromedial
prefrontal cortex in humans is correlated with extinction memory. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. Jul 26
2005; 102 (30): 10706-10711.
- Gurvits TV, Gilbertson MW, Lasko NB, et al. Neurologic soft
signs in chronic posttraumatic stress disorder.Arch Gen
Psychiatry. Feb 2000; 57 (2): 181-186.
- Brewin CR.Risk factor effect sizes in PTSD: what this means for
intervention. J Trauma Dissociation. 2005; 6 (2): 123-130.
- Taylor FB, Lowe K, Thompson C, et al. Daytime Prazosin Reduces
Psychological Distress toTrauma Specific Cues in Civilian Trauma Posttraumatic
Stress Disorder. Biol Psychiatry. Feb 3 2006.
- Ressler KJ, Rothbaum BO, Tannenbaum L, et al. Cognitive enhancers as adjuncts to
psychotherapy: use of D-cycloserine in phobic individuals to facilitate
extinction of fear.Arch Gen Psychiatry. Nov 2004; 61 (11): 1136-1144.
- Pitman RK, Sanders KM, Zusman RM, et al. Pilot study of secondary
prevention of posttraumatic stress disorder with propranolol.Biol
Psychiatry. Jan 15 2002; 51 (2): 189-192.
- Litz BTWL, Wang J, Bryant R, Engel CC.A therapist-assisted Internet
self-help program for traumatic stress. Prof Psychol Res Pr.
December 2004; 35 (6): 628-634.
The New York State Department of Mental Health expresses
thanks to the National Institute of Mental Health for the information,
used in this booklet.
Published by the State Department of Mental Health
New York, June 2008.
New York State
Andrew M. Cuomo, Governor
Department of Mental Health
Head of Department Michael F. Hogan, Ph.D.
For more information on this edition, contact:
New York State Office of Mental Health
Community Outreach and Public Education Office
[New York State Department of Mental Health
Department of Public Relations and Community Outreach]
44 Holland Avenue
Albany, NY 12229
866-270-9857 (toll free)
For questions and complaints regarding mental health services
Health in New York, contact:
New York State Office of Mental Health
[New York State Department of Mental Health
44 Holland Avenue
Albany, NY 12229
800-597-8481 (toll free)
For information on mental health services in
your neighborhood, contact
New York State Department of Mental Health (NYSOMH) Regional Office Nearest:
Western New York Field Office
[Western New York Regional Office]
737 Delaware Avenue, Suite 200
Buffalo, NY 14209
Central New York Field Office
[Central New York Regional Office]
545 Cedar Street, 2nd Floor
Syracuse, NY 13210-2319
Hudson River Field Office
[Hudson River Regional Office]
4 Jefferson Plaza, 3rd Floor
Poughkeepsie, NY 12601
Long Island Field Office
[Long Island Regional Office]
998 Crooked Hill Road, Building # 45-3
West Brentwood, NY 11717-1087
New York City Field Office
[New York City Regional Office]
330 Fifth Avenue, 9th Floor
New York, NY 10001-3101
90,000 Psychoemotional disorders during pregnancy.The need for their correction | Tyutyunnik V.L., Mikhailova O.I., Chukhareva N.A.
Currently, more and more attention is paid to the influence of the psychoemotional state of women on reproductive function, pregnancy and perinatal outcomes [2,4,14]. In recent years, in developed countries there has been an increase in the frequency of various mental disorders in women of reproductive age, the proportion of patients taking psychotropic drugs has increased, including among women planning pregnancy and pregnant women [3,6,9].
Almost all pregnant women are subject to drastic emotional changes, since expecting a baby is associated with changes – both physical and emotional. Hormonal changes during pregnancy lead to the fact that the mood of a pregnant woman changes dramatically almost every hour.
The expectant mother can get rid of such emotional changes and feel calm during pregnancy by observing the rules of emotional health. Emotional balance and physical fitness are equally important for a pregnant woman, and they equally help her prepare for motherhood.Due to the lack of maternal experience, a pregnant woman may experience sudden emotional outbursts. The first pregnancy is a new experience that is difficult to comprehend. Ignoring the fact that the emotions of a woman expecting a child are much more complex and sharper than usual can lead to a number of problems, including in relations with her spouse. Acceptance of this fact is the basis of emotional health during pregnancy [1,5,11].
Also, if a woman has a first pregnancy, she experiences many fears, which include fear of childbirth and untimely termination of pregnancy, anxiety about the health of the unborn child and her own health, fear of labor pains and inevitable pain, fear of disappointment of the partner / spouse due to changes in body.Modern women have to worry about a career, about financial problems, about the many additional costs associated with the appearance and upbringing of a new family member.
All of these fears can lead to many negative emotions such as excitement, depression, irritation, anxiety, stress, anger, loneliness, confusion. Most often, changes in the psycho-emotional background during pregnancy lead to the development of depressive and anxiety disorders. Until the end, the pathogenesis of these changes is unclear, several theories are being discussed, it is believed that changes in hormonal levels during pregnancy, including a significant increase in estrogen, and especially progesterone, in the blood serum may aggravate existing emotional disorders [5,7,15].As a rule, minor manifestations in the form of irritability, tearfulness, resentment accompany the manifestations of early toxicosis in the first trimester of pregnancy – nausea, vomiting, etc. [6, 10]. After the disappearance of these symptoms, the neuropsychic state of pregnant women usually improves. At the same time, a certain physical discomfort and psychological factors play an important role in the development of anxiety states, which include forced changes in lifestyle, communication in the family and with work colleagues, concern for the health of the unborn child, financial difficulties – all this makes a certain contribution to the appearance or aggravation of psychoemotional disorders during pregnancy.For some women, the onset of pregnancy is a surprise and not always desirable, however, due to the prevailing circumstances, a decision is made to prolong this pregnancy, which may lead to a further increase in stress and anxiety [5,8,12]. It should be noted that during pregnancy, additional psychotraumatic factors may appear, such as the appearance of complications of pregnancy requiring hospitalization, or the identification of congenital malformations in the fetus, which can cause negative images and feelings [1,10,12].
The state of psychoemotional stress with the presence of anxiety of various levels is observed in 40% of women with a normal pregnancy [2,7,11]. Borderline neuropsychiatric disorders can be presented in the form of hypochondriacal and hysterical syndromes. However, there are other forms of gestational borderline neuropsychiatric disorders, their features are the constant inclusion in the clinical picture of certain psychopathological phenomena directly related to pregnancy: various fears for the successful course of pregnancy, obsessive fears about the fate of the fetus, expectation of childbirth, conditioned reflex fears associated with past unfavorable pregnancies and childbirth [5,6,8].A study of pregnant women who do not have signs of borderline neuropsychiatric disorders showed that character accentuation was established in only a quarter of women. The first trimester of pregnancy is usually characterized to one degree or another by the sharpening of existing character traits. Soft, vulnerable, insecure women become even more impressionable, sometimes excessively tearful, feel anxiety (especially hard are those women who have already had miscarriages in the past or this pregnancy is not going well, in this case the fear of another termination of pregnancy can become simply obsessive ).Powerful women with a harsh personality can become even more aggressive, irritable, and demanding. In the third trimester of pregnancy, emotional changes may begin again in connection with the expectation of childbirth, and with them fear – especially women who are going to experience this event for the first time are susceptible to it [5,6,11].
Anxiety disorders may first appear during pregnancy, and there may be a change in the course of existing disorders. In one of the retrospective studies in women with panic attacks in 20% of cases, there was a decrease in symptoms during pregnancy, in 54% – the condition remained unchanged, in 26% – a worsening of the course of the disease .Identifying depression in pregnant women is difficult. Many symptoms, such as lability of the emotional background, increased fatigue, changes in appetite and a decrease in cognitive functions, are often found in physiologically normal pregnancies. Under stress, the mother’s adrenal hormones release catecholamines (stress hormones) into the bloodstream, and during the experience of positive emotions (joy, tranquility, etc.), the hypothalamic structures produce endorphins, which, penetrating the placental barrier, directly affect the fetus.Consequently, the mother and the child are a single neurohumoral organism, and each of them equally suffers from the unfavorable influence of the external world, which is recorded in long-term memory, affecting the entire subsequent life of the child. Positive maternal emotions cause an increase in fetal growth and an increase in the level of its sensory perception.
According to the literature [2,5,11,15], there has been a significant effect of anxiety disorders on the course of pregnancy and perinatal outcomes: the frequency of placental insufficiency, fetal growth retardation, premature birth, the birth of children with low body weight increases, which subsequently has a negative effect on long-term forecast for them.
Thus, emotional swings are dangerous not only for the woman herself, but also for her unborn child. When a pregnant woman is stressed, her body produces more of the hormone cortisol, the main “stress hormone”. Cortisol increases blood pressure and blood sugar levels, and negatively affects the strength of the immune system – which, naturally, negatively affects the health of the child.
Stress during pregnancy is dangerous for a variety of reasons.Chronic stress, experienced for several weeks, can slow down the development of cells in the body of the embryo, the growth of the fetus. This increases the risk of miscarriage or spontaneous abortion or premature birth. Elevated levels of stress hormones can damage the brain of an unborn child and lead to parenting problems in the future.
Psychological stress in the perinatal period brings with it a whole range of problems that require serious attention to the psychological sphere of the pregnant woman in order to avoid obstetric and other complications.However, to date, no diagnostic criteria have been found for the transition of stress syndrome from the link of adaptation to the link in the pathogenesis of various diseases [2,4,15].
Emotional control is essential to maintain normal emotional balance during pregnancy. A pregnant woman who successfully manages her emotions is aware of the changing emotional balance and is ready to accept what is happening to her.
There are a few basic rules to help you deal with emotional imbalances:
• It is necessary to come to terms with the fact that physical and emotional changes are an inevitable part of pregnancy.You need to understand that this is a temporary stage that will last only a few months and will end in a maximum of 1–2 months after the birth of the baby.
• Each trimester of pregnancy brings new changes, both in body and in emotional state. The main source of information about pregnancy is specialized literature and the experience of women who have recently given birth, who can share their feelings and experiences.
• A pregnant woman is responsible for the emergence of a new life. Taking care of yourself means taking care of the child.Proper nutrition, rest and indulging your little whims are essential.
• A pregnant woman should be open to dialogue and not be afraid to discuss her problems with her gynecologist, partner or friends – anyone who can provide emotional support. You should not keep fears and worries in yourself – this will only aggravate your inner tension.
• Changes associated with pregnancy can lead to decreased energy and, as a result, rapid fatigue. You need to slow down, re-prioritize work, and give yourself some rest.
• Emotional stress and negative emotions can be overcome by being distracted by pleasant activities or hobbies. When emotions overwhelm you, try to analyze what is bothering you, and then find an adequate solution.
• Engaging in specific physical activities designed specifically for expectant mothers can help improve both physical and emotional health.
• Rest and comfort are the main components of emotional health during pregnancy.
However, unfortunately, during pregnancy, a woman cannot always cope with nervous tension, irritability, anxiety, excitement and other symptoms of stress on her own. Therefore, in some situations, she needs medication.
The relative risk of using drugs during pregnancy complicates the choice of therapy, therefore, for the correction of psychoemotional disorders that occur during pregnancy, herbal drugs that have practically no side effects can be considered as highly safe therapy means.
The basis of anti-anxiety complex phytopreparations is valerian. For many years it has been used in traditional medicine for its hypnotic and sedative effects, and to this day it remains a highly sought after drug. The mild hypnotic effect of valerian makes it possible to use it for the relief of shallow insomnic disorders caused by anxiety. In addition, the vegetotropic effect of valerian is well known, its ability to exert a uniform effect on both mental and somatic (vegetative) symptoms of anxiety.Also, valerian drugs have anxiolytic and neuroprotective effects. The spectrum of side effects of valerian is very narrow and is practically limited only by allergic reactions. Despite the fact that valerian extract is metabolized by the cytochrome P450 system, it practically does not affect the metabolism of other drugs and, thus, undesirable drug interactions are excluded.
Among the phytopreparations used by clinicians to treat psychoemotional disorders, Persen, a modern combined herbal sedative that helps relieve stress symptoms (anxiety, irritability and emotional stress), has become widespread without causing drowsiness.Along with valerian, the preparation contains dry extracts of medicinal plants with pronounced anxiolytic activity – peppermint and lemon balm (Table 1). The additional antispasmodic effect of peppermint makes it possible to successfully use the drug in patients with a pronounced somatic component of anxiety syndrome. In addition, lemon balm has a nootropic (increased concentration of attention and speed of solving problems), antioxidant effect. Persen is prescribed internally for adults and adolescents over 12 years of age, 2-3 coated tablets, 2-3 times / day., Persen forte – inside adults and adolescents over 12 years old, 1-2 capsules 2-3 times / day.
Persen’s advantages over other sedatives are:
• the product contains only natural ingredients;
• the efficacy and safety of Persen’s herbal ingredients are well studied;
• does not contain alcohol and bromine;
• can be combined with any psychotropic drugs, including antidepressants;
• effective as a fast-acting symptomatic remedy when it is necessary to stop the symptoms of anxiety, excitement, and when taken as a course for the treatment of stress conditions, anxiety and phobic disorders.
Due to the natural components of plant origin that make up Persen, this drug can be used during pregnancy. In each case, the doctor must assess the benefits and risks of taking Persen and other medications, depending on the severity of the symptoms of the disease.
Thus, to prevent possible development, as well as for the treatment of psychoemotional disorders in pregnant women, it is advisable to use sedatives, the action of which softens the damaging effect of psychogenic factors.
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Anxiety and phobias in pregnant women | Tips for Pregnant Women and Nursing Mothers | Expert advice | Thematic pages
Anxiety and phobias in pregnant women
Pregnancy is the physiological state of a woman’s body.The sages say, “The most beautiful woman is a pregnant woman.” She radiates peace and love. There is peace of mind in her eyes. Of course, this will be the case if the woman is happy and healthy. If she is surrounded by people who are ready to morally support her. It must be remembered that pregnancy is not a disease. The assistant pediatrician E.K. Evdokimova and the psychiatrist-psychotherapist E.D. Zilberkant tell how pregnant women can overcome excessive anxiety and deal with pregnancy phobias.
In recent years, more and more young women are in no hurry to have their first child.Someone motivates this with their own “immaturity”, someone refers to material difficulties, someone does not think about children until they graduate from university or make a career. As a result, every year there are more primiparous women of age. If in the West this state of affairs has long been considered the norm, then in Russia a woman who wishes to become a mother at the age of “a little over 35” automatically falls into a health and psychological risk group. Society is not yet morally ready to support such expectant mothers.They have to hide the very fact of pregnancy from acquaintances to the last, in order to avoid ridicule or sympathy. The fear of losing a job and qualifications also plays an important role in the formation of excessive anxiety in a pregnant woman.
Another category of pregnant women that is new for Russia is women who have decided to give birth to a child “for themselves” without entering into legal legal relations with the father of the unborn child. They, as a rule, are confident in themselves, perfectly understand that not only the joy of motherhood awaits them in the future, but also concerns about “their daily bread.”They are sure that they will be able to provide the baby with everything necessary, but in many ways they have to “go against the tide”, often feeling the sidelong condemning glances of familiar people at home or at work. It is good if next to such a woman there are relatives and loyal friends who can support her in difficult times.
Sometimes, as noted by gynecologists, a wealthy and already established woman decides to have a child not so much for herself as for status. Since having a child is now considered prestigious, she decides to take this step.This category of women needs to remember about the risk of bearing the first child after 35 years, about the responsibility to the unborn baby. But if a woman has made a decision and is firmly convinced that she is ready to conceive and bear a child, during pregnancy, medical workers should not only physically, but also psychologically help her: support and encourage her. Accustomed to leading an independent, independent way of life, a middle-aged woman eventually realizes that she will have to readjust: she will no longer be able to lead the same busy business and sports life while carrying a child.Psychologists and health workers must patiently explain to her that these are temporary restrictions and in the future she will receive other emotions that will largely cover all the inconveniences. Communication with a child enriches a woman’s life, gives her the opportunity to look at the world differently, brings a huge number of new bright emotional experiences.
Phobias of pregnant women
The modern woman plays a lot of social roles: colleague, mother, wife. Trying to fulfill her mission in all directions one hundred percent, she is exhausted and constantly worried that with the appearance of a child she will not cope with all her duties.
If a woman’s feeling of anxiety grows and she develops phobias (closed space, insects and others that did not exist before), it makes sense to seek help from a specialist – a psychotherapist. You do not have to endure, hiding your emotions from loved ones. This also affects others negatively – they feel that the woman is silent about problems, and this speaks of her distrust. In this case, the most effective method is to sit down at the negotiating table and discuss everything calmly.A woman should talk about her fears and doubts, and loved ones should hear and understand her, not dismissing her problems.
Increased anxiety of women during pregnancy indicates a lack of confidence. First of all, to herself. It’s hard not to be afraid of what you don’t know yet. Many women, knowing about the dangers of negative emotions during pregnancy, feel a strong sense of guilt in front of the baby for the fact that they are tormented by disturbing thoughts. It’s not scary. After all, the richer the palette of feelings of a pregnant woman, the more information her baby receives for its development.It is important for the expectant mother and baby to feel and understand each other even during pregnancy.
Often a woman begins to panic , realizing that the freedom of choice has already been lost, and her life with the birth of a child will not be what it was before. Then the fear of the unknown begins, which is often taken out by it on close people – husband, parents. The tears and panic of a pregnant woman often lead to the opposite effect – people who are frightened by such a reaction begin to move away from the problem. In this case, a woman should understand that pregnancy is her choice, and no one owes her.If she does not put pressure on her loved ones, they will be much more pleased to come to her aid and support her. When a mother-to-be says to her husband “you owe”, he has a response “I don’t owe anything”. Therefore, the decision to have a child should be discussed in advance and collectively. When a woman becomes pregnant consciously – not under the influence of circumstances, public opinion and other external factors, then the process of bearing is psychologically easier for her.
The most difficult in terms of the psychological state of a pregnant woman are I and II trimesters , when the body is undergoing serious hormonal changes.It is better for a woman to read specialized literature in advance in order to understand what changes her body is going through. It is desirable that her relatives, especially her husband, read the same literature. Medical workers must also explain to the pregnant woman what stages her body goes through, openly and in an accessible form to answer her questions.
If a woman is tormented by fears about the upcoming birth, you can use the following technique: write a letter to your obstetrician-gynecologist, where you describe the expectations regarding the management of labor.For some women, the first minutes of communication with a child are important, for others – the presence of a husband at birth. And the specialist will already know about what a woman expects from childbirth, which will bring her positive feelings.
Traditionally, it is believed that a woman during pregnancy should listen to classical music, spend more time in nature. In fact, she should listen carefully to herself and do what she likes and brings positive emotions. Some like to read books and watch movies at home, the other likes to walk in the fresh air.
Sometimes it is worth making some effort to ensure that a woman’s own idea of pregnancy and childbirth becomes bright and joyful. You don’t need to be influenced by people with negative experiences, you shouldn’t allow them to intimidate yourself with stories about how hard it was for them or someone else’s birth. Every pregnancy, every birth is a completely unique, unrepeatable event. There is no need to “project” other people’s experiences onto yourself. The successful outcome of childbirth very much depends on the positive attitude of both the pregnant woman herself and her immediate environment.It is worth looking for information about childbirth that would strengthen a woman’s confidence that childbirth is a natural process.
The psychological atmosphere within the family seriously affects the condition of a pregnant woman . The atmosphere in which a pregnant woman can calmly and joyfully await the upcoming birth is invaluable. Conflicts are inherently non-constructive and lead nowhere. But if a woman wants to cry, she’d better do it – the energy should go out, incl.h. negative.
Pregnancy gives a woman additional strength, makes her psyche surprisingly plastic, especially susceptible to changes. These new opportunities should not be neglected. You can engage in self-education in terms of health promotion, you can find yourself in creativity (learn to draw, sing, sew, knit). There are now many centers for expectant families, where you can find both a welcoming atmosphere and useful information. They can help channel the energy of fear into vigorous childbirth activities.
Having a baby is a good incentive for internal and physical development of both parents . Parents are a good example for a future baby. A woman should involve the future dad in communicating with the unborn child – to talk about her feelings during pregnancy, let her stomach be touched when the fetus begins to move. The expectant mother fully feels the process of pregnancy, feels the child inside herself, her body gives her various signals, which the future father is deprived of.
A pregnant woman will gradually transform her female-daughter status into female-mother status. In this case, it is very important to closely interact with the mother – the future grandmother, to establish warm and close relationships. The woman should have the opportunity of frequent communication with the mother so that she can ask questions about the upbringing of the unborn child.