The role of emotions during pregnancy

Written by: Neus García Guerra
Edited by: Top Doctors®

Motherhood is not only a biological process, but also a psychological crisis during which children's conflicts are reactivated, which test the emotional maturity of the woman, her identity and the vivid relationship with her own mother. Pregnancy promotes the woman's contact with emotions that often manifest in an intense and contradictory way.Identification with the mother influences the development of pregnancy. When the daughters have had little fearful mothers, they show less distress. On the other hand, women who have been mothers who complained of pains and fears, tend to present similar manifestations that their own mothers.

From the beginning of gestation, the mood of the woman tends to manifest hypersensitivity , which is shown both at the physical level through the senses, and psychologically, through emotions. There is a correspondence between mental processes and somatic manifestations.Coderch states that: "Motherhood is possibly the human situation where the most interrelation exists between the psychic and the somatic, with reciprocal reverberation between one and another aspect."During pregnancy the psychic processes are mobilized and generate somatic manifestations. The following symptoms are quite frequent, especially during the first months: dizziness, nausea, palpitations, vomiting, etc.


What emotions does a woman feel during pregnancy?

Each trimester of gestation has certain characteristics, related to the emotions:• In the first trimester, the feeling of excitement and anxiety predominates and concerns are often related to the fear of abortion and the health of the fetus.• In the second, the perception of fetal movements predominates , which increases the sense of reality around gestation. The concern is focused on the good growth of the baby and the fear of malformations.• In the third trimester, the concern for the baby's health and the responsibility of being a mother predominate. There is a desire to materialize the birth of the child but, at the same time, the fear of childbirth intensifies.Although psychosomatic alterations are frequent during gestation, the psychobiological transformation that involves pregnancy can determine the disappearance of the disorders that have appeared.


Factors that influence women's emotions during pregnancy

The historical background of the woman and the context in which she is found influence the emotions that appear. Humor oscillations also correspond to the process of adaptation to a new reality, which generates anxieties, insecurities and worries.There are adjustment reactions to the transient situation through: lability, pessimism, concern for health, somatic complaints, etc.. There are also feelings of sadness about the loss of the former state, independence and personal attractiveness and, at the same time, there is a tendency to raise the self-esteem of the woman who lives the pregnancy as an enrichment. In general, gestation involves many changes, everything is more intense for the woman, creates illusions and also anguish. This makes the woman experience ambivalence due to the wealth of feelings that emerge, which causes a feeling of bewilderment.


Effects of emotions during pregnancy

Helene Deutsch describes how a state of introversion manifests itself through an abstracted attitude and a permanent dream sensation. It explains this phenomenon as a deviation from the psychic energies that were focused on the outside, towards the interior of the pregnant woman. This introversion can distress pregnant women because they do not feel interested in everyday activitiesThe described so far in principle is transitory, it is subject to the development of the pregnancy, is frequent and it evolves during the period of gestation. It also represents an opportunity for psychological growth for women. We must bear in mind that gestation can favor a vital psychological maturation.If the symptomatology that manifests the woman interferes the adaptation to its state and the hypersensitivity is so intense it is possible that it is necessary a psychotherapeutic intervention with the specialist in Psychology. This intervention should also be understood as a preventive task for the neonate, because it will favor the mother being in a better position to deal with it.During pregnancy the woman experiences a psychological crisis that can be manifested by different moods or by physical manifestations. This crisis represents an opportunity for psychological growth during which the woman can be strengthened but may also not, and she needs psychotherapeutic help.


*Translated with Google translator. We apologize for any imperfection

By Neus García Guerra

Renowned specialist in psychology, with more than 30 years of experience. Mrs. García Guerra is an expert in Psychotherapy by the European Federation ooo Psychologists Associations (EFPA) and Master in Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy by CEEP. On the other hand, he is a member of the Full Law of the Catalan Association of Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy (ACPP). He currently combines his private activity at the Center Sarrià, of which he is a co-founder, with his professional activity as a psychotherapist and head of teaching at the Public Institution Sant Pere Claver.

*Translated with Google translator. We apologize for any imperfection

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