One of the most exciting times in a woman’s life is when she finds out that she is expecting a child. Feelings of exhilaration around starting a new family—or adding to it—consume the new mommy-to-be’s thoughts nonstop. Will it be a girl or a boy? Will he look like his daddy? Will she have my eyes? What color should the nursery be? What will we name her?
The first several months of pregnancy are a settling-in period as the new parents get used to the idea that a baby is on the way. One newly pregnant mom said, “I spend the bulk of my time thinking about my health; what I’m eating and drinking so that I’m proving the best nutrients possible for my growing baby. I’m also noticing the situations around me more, and being conscious to avoid emotional stress and drama. I’m being more mindful of external sounds, like conversations that are being had and music that is playing. I’m going more with Mozart over hard rock,” she laughs.
As pregnancy continues, and the woman’s body begins to change, she goes through a new cycle of thoughts, some of them turning to concerns, fears, and even anxiety. “What will my body look like after I give birth?” “How much is this going to hurt?” “What if I can’t handle the pain of going through labor?” “How will I know what to do?” “What if I make mistakes?” These are all perfectly normal thoughts, and the stress that can accompany these worries can have a negative effect.
The Effects of Your Emotional State on Your Child
It’s no secret that in many ancient cultures found around the world, it is believed that the emotions of an expecting mother have a direct effect on her unborn child. Stress and anxiety have a detrimental effect on the physical body, and when a woman is with child, it’s quite possible that her emotional states can have both immediate and long-term effects on her new baby.
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