Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Corellation Between Spirituality, Emotions Essay

Abstract   The purpose of this paper is to describe the changes during pregnancy, which is influenced by various factors like lifestyle modification, emotions and spirituality. The paper first discusses in detail about the stress and emotional changes, which occurs during pregnancy and its impact on both child and mother. These results are also supported with proper evidence from various research.   Secondly, paper discusses about how lifestyle modification in pregnant women affects the child and mother and these results are supported by evidence from various research.   Finally, the paper discusses about the spiritual believes and its impact on pregnant women. INTRODUCTION Pregnancy is a life event for which most women look forward too. The symptoms of pregnancy might sometimes be distressing but ultimately, it is all worthwhile. Women’s life changes completely during this period. This is the most stressful as well as memorable period in a women’s life. Proper planning before pregnancy to overcome the physical and emotional changes is highly essential. Since, lifestyle modification, stress, anxiety and diet changes produce major impacts in pregnant women and the fetus, the need for proper life style modification during pregnancy is recommended by all physicians. This paper discusses the impact of three major factors Stress, life style modification and spirituality in pregnant women with empirical evidence from various research studies. STRESS AND RELATED IMPACTS IN PREGNANT WOMEN   Expectant women are subject to stress due to several factors, which includes physical changes during pregnancy, environmental changes, lifestyle changes and several other factors. Pregnant women besides physical changes also experience emotional changes at time of pregnancy. Mood swings are common and women will face emotional ups and downs in early pregnancy because of hormonal changes. Its is common for pregnant women to cry or get angry and upset for no apparent reason.    Pregnancy Changes related to stress During first trimester, the pregnant women spend most of their time by realizing the fact that they are pregnant. They experience themselves inwardly and try to understand and overcome the fears about the pregnancy. This must be the case only when the women experiencing the first pregnancy. In later pregnancy, they become more familiar with the changes. At first pregnancy, pregnant women are subjected to many fear such as fear about discontinuing the job, lifestyle changes, responsibility, economical constrains etc. Insecure feelings are common during the early stage of pregnancy. Mood swings grows higher leading to unusual behaviors. The pregnant woman may laugh or cry for irrelevant things. These are often related to hormonal changes in the body. However, researchers believe that hormonal changes during pregnancy augment the force of the feelings and do not causes mood change. Few researchers has identified that the amount of anxiety is heavier in pregnant women who bears a boy baby, for which the reasons are unidentified. In the second trimester, the expectant mother slowly comes out of fear and anxiety, which they experienced during the first trimester and starts feeling better as by now they start experiencing the movement of the baby. During this period, the understanding between the husband and wife starts growing and slowly they accept the existence of baby. The woman starts showing changes physically as she gain weight, also fear and anxiety grows rapidly during this period as fear of miscarriage or disaster to the baby or to herself develops. Speaking out about the fear to her husband or to someone close would relive herself from stress. During the last stage of pregnancy, the pregnant mother experience more fear and stress. As they grow larger in size, they experience low self-esteem and expect more attention from all the dear ones especially from her husband. They fear more regarding delivery complications.    Physical stress during pregnancy and its impact Physical strain during pregnancy is equal to emotional strain. High physical stress during pregnancy is not advisable as it has possibility of inducing preterm delivery among pregnant women. â€Å"In a research conducted by Mozurkewich and Colleague among the employees of pregnant women in U.S who had performed increased physical work has given birth before their deliver date. In another study conducted among the women in France has shown similar results.    Stress and its impact on diet Stress, tension, low energy, exhaustion and other emotional changes can influence the diet preference by the pregnant women. According to the study conducted by the ‘Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health’, â€Å"the diet of the expectant mother would affect the growth of the fetus and the wellbeing of the infant. According to this study which was conducted by ‘Kristen Hurley, Janet DiPietro, Kathleen Costigan and Laura Caulfield’, â€Å"Mother who experienced more fatigue during the pregnancy period consumed more amount of energy rich foods and zinc and consumed less folate. Expectant mothers who felt more stressed munched more amount of snacks and carbohydrate foods and also consumed lots of foods which is rich in fat, protein, iron and zinc. Worried feelings were connected with poorer consumption of vitamin C. Mothers who were stressed by pregnancy experience ate less meat.†Ã‚   â€Å"While pregnant women eating more amount of food may lead to increase in micronutrients and decrease the intake of other important nutrients like folate and vitamin C†, says, ‘Laura Caulfield, Ph.D. an associate professor at the Bloomberg School of Public Health’s Centre for Human Nutrition’.    Stress and its effect on the fetus Stress during pregnancy can bring about several changes in mother and child’s health. It affects the heart rate of the pregnant women. It also brings about blood pressure and anxiety in women. â€Å"According to Catherine Monk of Columbia University, emotional changes during pregnancy result in heart problems in pregnant women and have major effect on the fetus.†Ã‚   Earlier research has shown that stress during pregnancy leads to under weight babies and premature babies. Researcher has found that heart rate of mother is associated to heart rate of the fetus and when mother is stressed or worried, it affects the infant directly. Researchers from John Hopkins University and National Institute of Child Health Development (NICHD) in their research have found that emotional changes during pregnancy have direct impact on child’s behavior. Mother with increased emotion and fear of pregnancy has children with poor behavior skills and emotional disorder.  Ã‚  Ã‚   â€Å"According to Janet A. DiPietro, PhD, a developmental psychologist and professor at John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, increased stress during pregnancy results in chemical changes which manipulate the organ growth and development of the fetus.† Thus, it is essential for a pregnant women to be free from stress and emotions during and after pregnancy to give birth to a healthy baby and to maintain her own health. LIFESTYLE CHANGES AND ITS IMPACT IN EXPECTANT MOTHER Lifestyle modification during pregnancy affects both mother and child especially when seems to be negative. Expectant mothers who are involved in habits such as Cigarette, alcohol, caffeine etc are under risk of developing breast cancer, delivery complications and pass the risk of behavioral disorder to their child. Apart from this diet, modification and exercise pattern also has impact on child’s growth. Expectant mother with eating disorder or overeating habits are prone to low-birth weight or over weight babies. Alteration in diet with inadequate nutrients or over nutrition leads to gestational diabetes. The child born to such parents develops Type I diabetes and are also at risk of developing cardiovascular problems. Lower folate consumption before and during the time of pregnancy would lead to birth defect and neurological problems. Hence, proper nutrition intake before and after pregnancy is essential. Consumption of Alcohol at the time of pregnancy leads to abortion, affects the fetus development, causes serious birth defects particularly the intellectual growth of the child. Hence, it is advisable to avoid alcohol consumption before and during pregnancy. Pregnant women who drink heavily are at risk of giving birth to child with alcohol syndrome i.e. a syndrome, which has major effect on mental and physical health. Similarly, pregnant women who consumes higher amount of caffeine are also at risk of developing miscarriage and birth defects. In addition, heavy exposure to chemicals can lead to birth defects. Various studies have shown that exposure to hazardous chemicals as solvents at work place have resulted in increase in the risk of abortion or birth defects. Apart from these, exercise during pregnancy is highly essential. Exercise during pregnancy strengthens the lower back and lower abdomen. Lack of proper exercise would result in caesarian and delivery complications. Exercise can reduce the labor complications and the risk of delivery. Regular exercise and walking would be more effective if followed in the second and third trimester. It helps the pregnant women to be relieved out of constipation, discomfort due to increased weight, fatigue, backaches etc    Diet modification during pregnancy affects the child and the offspring A research study conducted by â€Å"Children’s hospital Oakland Research Institute by David Martin, M.D, Dr. Jennifer Cropley and Catherine Suter from Victor Chang Heart Institute in Sydney, November 2006, has found that, ‘ mother’s diet during pregnancy   dose not only affect the health of her child but also affects the health of the grandchildren by changing the behavior of specific gene.† The researchers has performed the study on Avy mouse (yellow in color) which posses gene similar to human genes. The researchers during the research has used two group of pregnant mouse of which one group was fed with usual diet consumed by human and the other group was provided with supplements such as folate, vitamin, zinc etc along with the normal diet during the middle of the pregnancy. The similar experiments were followed for the offspring’s. The results of the study revealed that mouse without the supplement diet in both the experiments has shown considerable alteration in the gene resulting in the change of color from yellow to brown and were also found to be unhealthy and are at risk of cancer. Though it is, the known fact that mother’s diet would have considerable impact on the child’s health this is the first study, which has compared the correlation between mother’s diet and its impact in offspring. According to ‘Kenneth Beckman, Ph.D. Assistance Scientist at CHORI and a member of Project Export Centre of excellence in Nutritional Genomics, said, â€Å"The supplements provided during the pregnancy of the mother benefited the grand children even when the mother of the grandchild did not consume diet with supplements. Thus, maternal diet could have long lasting implications which extends for generations and even centuries.† Overeating and its impact on child  Ã‚   According to the research from ‘Oregon Health and Science University, September 2006’, â€Å"overeating during pregnancy may lead to several health problems to the child.†   Ã¢â‚¬Å"The researcher Kevin Grove, Ph.D., a scientist in ONPRC’s Division of Neuroscience in his research has confirmed that grandchildren off the expectant mother who overeat are at risk for liver damage and at a risk for early commencement of diabetes and obesity. Apart from this considerable change take place in the hypothalamus of the brain, which is responsible for the weight regulation.   He also states that children who are born to mother who consumes lots of fatty foods may be at a risk of diabetes and obesity.† The researchers have noted that pregnant female monkeys who were used for the research when provided with high fatty food passed on liver damage and pancreas damage to their offspring’s. The results were similar to humans when expectant women consumed high fatty food. It is clear from the above study that the need for a balanced diet among pregnant women is highly essential to prevent all health related problems to the child and the offspring. Another study conducted by world health organization there is a considerable increase in obesity related heart disease and metabolic disease among the present generation. Though the increase in obesity among present generation is because they consume high amount of fatty foods like sugar and saturated fats, on the other hand the obesity is also associated with increased consumption of energy rich food during pregnancy and during breast-feeding is one more reason for obesity among children’s. For several years it is has been stated that undernourished mother during pregnancy give birth to low birth weight babies which in turn affects the infant with heart related problems as it grows. However, latest studies reveals that apart form undernourished mother even the child born for mother who during pregnancy expose to energy rich food are also prone to heart disease. The study also revels that maternal diet has direct impact on child’s desire for food and maternal diet with increased energy food results in heart disease and other diseases like diabetes and hypertension in the later part of life. In such cases, the child develops abnormalities in aorta and in kidney resulting in severe disease as they grow up.    Smoking affects the child and grandchild Pregnant women may pass down the habit of smoking and its related disease to their child and to their grandchildren for continued generation.   Research study from Australia in 1982 has revealed the fact that children born to mothers who smoked during the time pregnancy started smoking before the age of 15 when compared to the children’s who were born to the mother who were non-smokers. At the same time, children’s of mothers who were smokers and gave up smoking at the time of pregnancy has shown similar results as children’s of mother who was non-smoker.   Thus, pregnant women are highly recommended to avoid smoking during pregnancy. Different study conducted by ‘Keck School of Medicine of University of California, states that use of tobacco and nicotine by the mother during pregnancy would result in lung diseases such as asthma to her children and grandchildren. The author Frank D. Gilliland, Professor of preventive medicine Keck School of Medicine states that smoking pregnant women will pass down long-term impact of lung disease in generations continuing for centuries. The research result shows that children’s and grandchildren’s of smoking mother at the time of pregnancy experienced problems of asthma from the age of five. Although the child of smoking mother did not experience any problem, the grandchild was highly prone to developing asthma. The researchers have also found that the nicotine present in the tobacco affects the DNA of the infant and affects the immune system of the baby. It is also found that nicotine from the tobacco affects the formation of the egg in the girl child as it grows. Thus, from above research studies it is clear that lifestyle modification in pregnant women would bring major impact in both child and mother. Few research has also proved that even grandchildren’s and further generation are affected by irregular dietary habits and alcohol and smoking habits. SPIRITUALITY AND ITS IMPACT ON EXPECTANT MOTHER Fasting seems to be one of spiritual activity, which has influenced most of the religious people especially Hindus and Muslims. People by fasting show their gratitude and love towards God. However, fasting when continued for more that two or three days leads to Lower Glycemic Index, reduces the protein and fat level in blood, increases the uric acid content, and possibly reduces the RBC and hemoglobin levels in the blood. If this is the case for normal people, when women with pregnancy undergoes fasting the results would be more drastic leading to ill health to both mother and child. As pregnancy is a crucial period and the mother is expected to consume the right amount of nutrition to maintain her health and the babies’ health, fasting during such period has to be avoided. According to a ‘Physician Gabriel Cousens, â€Å"fasting means to withdraw from that which is poisonous to the intellect, body and spirit. This can also be described as removal of corporal, emotional and psychological pollutant from our life, more willingly than merely staying away from or interrupting eating. Starving oneself for religious purposes typically involves taking away thyself from worldly duties.† On the other hand, in spite of the awareness for the need for proper nutrition some expectant mothers as being more religious blindly believes that by following rituals like fasting would bring God’s love and blessings to the child. Especially Muslim women’s during the period of Ramadan even if pregnant presume that fasting is obligatory for healthy wellbeing of child and mother. However, Islam is not too harsh on Muslim women’s who are pregnant. For that reason, no religion would be cruel to advice fasting during pregnancy. In Islam, the culture itself has prohibited such activity. Qur’an, has stated the following people not to fast during Ramadan, â€Å"pregnant women in her last trimester and also to avoid fasting by expectant mother if its is harmful to the mother and the child, women who is breast feeding, menstruating women and women who are in nifas.†Ã‚   According to Hadith, â€Å"the religion also states that if a expectant mother or the breast-feeding mother is subjected to health problems due to fasting, in such case they can fast the equivalent amount of days in another period of time.† Fasting are starving in the name of god is not ideal and it only spoils the health of the mother and baby. As pregnancy is an imperative period in women’s life attachment between mother and child grows right from the time of conception and develops with intake of right nutrition at right time. Impacts of fasting in Expectant women During pregnancy, the mother has to eat for two hence at this time going without food or starving without food due to spiritual reasons would affect both the child and mother. On the other hand, avoiding food at instance help the mother to remove the toxins from her body. Toxins loaded in the kidney, lungs, bladder, skin, intestinal track, respiratory track etc can be removed when avoiding food at some instances. However, this depends on the body condition of the women. In such cases the pregnant women has to take the advice of her doctor regarding her dietary habits. The culture of Islam states that fasting during first and second trimester of pregnancy is safer. This is also supported by the statement provided by ‘Dr. Shahid Athar; â€Å"according to him expectant based on health conditions can fast during the 1st and 2nd trimesters with the guidance and supervision from her obstetrician.† In a study conducted in Africa by researchers from Austin, nearly 89.5% of expectant women were fasting during the month of Ramadan. The result showed that blood glucose level in expectant mother who were fasting were significantly less than the normal amount which has resulted in gestational diabetes among these women. As no carbohydrate is available for producing glucose during the fasting period ketosis occur to avoid the loss of protein, which results in fall in insulin level and augmented weight loss. The research has proved that continuous fasting in pregnant women increase the risk of gestational diabetes, which results in over weight babies, caesarian, and stillbirth. Proper diet management under medical supervision and frequent blood testing for blood sugar can prevent gestational diabetes in pregnant women. Another research by â€Å"Kellymon has proved that fasting leads to dehydration, which thereby decreases the milk supply due to the decreased fluid level in the body.†   Ã‚  Ã‚  Ã‚   Another study by Centre for Advance for health in 2000 has revealed that pregnant mothers who starved during the first 14 weeks of pregnancy has given birth to child who are at high risk of heart disease. Form the research studies it is clear that fasting in the name of spirituality has shown adverse effect on both the child and mother. Although the belief of the expectant mother has to be considered, health related issues due to fasting have to be given priority. Since, the effect of fasting affects not only the mother but also the child, such beliefs has to be considered. The impacts of fasting last on child’s health for longer period and even it grows for several generations. CONCLUSION   As pregnancy is a crucial period in women’s life special attention and care during this period is more important. Pregnant women in general should be away from stress and try to keep them relaxed and peaceful. Excess stress can create severe impact on women’s health and in child’s health and also can lead to preterm delivery and miscarriage. Focusing on positive lifestyle changes before and after pregnancy could yield better results by improving the health and intellect of the baby. Thus for safe and healthy pregnancy, it is always better to be planed to avoid all harmful behaviors.    REFERENCES Shahid Athar, â€Å"Effects of Fasting in Pregnant Women during Ramadan†, Journal of Islamic Medical Association, November 1987. Hadith, â€Å"Studies on Fasting during Ramadan†, Islamic Horizon, October 2003. Kevin Grove, â€Å"Overeating and its impact on child†, Oregon Health and Science University, September 2006 Kristen Hurley, Janet DiPietro, Kathleen Costigan and Laura Caulfield, â€Å"Stress and its Impact in Pregnant Women,† Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, June 2005.    David Martin, Dr. Jennifer Cropley, Catherine Suter, Kenneth Beckman, â€Å"Diet modification during pregnancy affects the child and the offspring†, Children Hospital and Research Centre at Oakland, December 2006. World Health Organization, â€Å"Obesity related to cardiovascular disease in children†, Blackwell Publishing Ltd, May 2005. Frank D. Gilliland, Yu-Fen Li, â€Å"Smoking during Pregnancy affects the Child and Grandchild†, Chest Vol. 128, No. 5, April 2005, Pp 1231-1241. Mozurkewich EL. â€Å"Working Conditions and Adverse Pregnancy Outcome.† Obstetrics and Gynecology 2001. 96:624-636.

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