Benefits of Maintaining a Positive Attitude during Pregnancy

Reviewed by James Brann, MD
Being pregnant is usually a time of happiness for most women, but not for every woman. Women who were not expecting to become pregnant or who are involved in a tumultuous relationship, or who got pregnant as a result of rape, for example may not feel happy about their pregnancy at all. Although this is hard to imagine for women who are normal, joyful and who have planned pregnancies, it is important that no matter what circumstances led to this pregnancy, that you maintain a positive (and sane) attitude.
You may be already aware that stress and conflict affects your health. So does negativity. However, if you are wondering if that would have any impact on the baby growing inside of you, it does. There have been studies around the globe that prove the greater potential for lower birth weights, or that traumatic events can even impact a baby’s brain development. One Danish study of babies born between 1973 – 1995 had a 67% bigger risk of developing psychological disorders, such as bipolar or schizophrenia, when the mother was subjected to extreme stress.

Preterm or premature delivery is another hazard, which can also be dangerous for your baby. Although technology has come a long way to help save premature babies, the risks involved with your baby’s health can be very costly. Remember that your baby feels what you are feeling.
Stress is inevitable sometimes, and perhaps your life is not as hunky dory as you wish it would be. Work stress, financial strains or painful relationships sometimes present themselves upon us, whether we ask for it, like it, or not. But at least while you are pregnant, try not to lose you cool. Your hormones may make you feel highly emotional at times. One minute you might be laughing and the next, you might feel like crying. Try to manage and be aware of things that trigger a mental breakdown and avoid these things!
Here are some simple ways to keep your cool and maintain a healthy attitude, for your baby’s sake:

  • Try breathing exercises, or yoga
  • Learn the art of meditation
  • Divert your attention to something else when you feel negative thoughts or anger
  • Take care of your health by eating nutritious foods and exercising
  • Join prenatal classes to surround yourself with a positive support system
  • Call a spiritual counselor, minister, pastor or therapist
  • Leave the stressful situation immediately
  • Go for a walk somewhere that relaxes you, like the park, beach or nature trail


What are the benefits of maintaining a positive attitude during pregnancy?

Science and philosophers have already determined that positive or negative thoughts and events can affect the outcomes, so as you would imagine, having negative thoughts, anxiety, worrying or bad feelings can lead to undesirable outcomes.

Consider that your mind is like a scale, and if you put too many rocks on one side, it will tip the scale to one side or the other. If you put too many rocks on the negative side, they become difficult to lift. Every time you have a negative thought, try redirecting it and imagine it landing on the other side. You can eventually tip the scale to your favor just through this simple, mental exercise of redirection.

For example, your baby smiling for the first time could be one “rock” on your positive scale. So every time you have a negative thought and feel the scale pulling you in the wrong direction, just imagine how beautiful your baby will be or how much joy you will feel the first time you see smiling, laughter, googling and those big eyes looking at you with wonder and love.
The benefits of keeping a positive attitude are many. You have a higher likeliness of having a healthy baby, most importantly. The baby will be more likely to be carried through to full term, as well as less likely to develop brain disorders later on.

Another reason is that recent studies indicate the unborn fetus can hear, listen and understand the sound of a mother’s voice even before birth. Talking or reading to your baby can promote the comfort and love that a baby needs. You are the nurturer and nothing on earth can replace a mother’s love for her child. Try giving your baby some early “pep” talks or words of positive affirmation.

  • “I can’t wait to meet you, my little angel.”
  • “Every day I feel closer to you, precious baby.”
  • “The energy I give you today will make you strong and healthy.”
  • “Good morning, sweet baby. Today we are going to have a wonderful day.”


You may think this sounds odd, but it is not only beneficial to your baby’s health, it is beneficial to yours. Stress can make you sick, weak, or cause health problems down the road. Those rocks that weigh you down with negativity will eventually crush you. So, for the baby’s sake, and yours, avoid stress and stay positive, no matter how difficult some days can be.

 

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