Is Your Anger Affecting the Baby

Is Your Anger Affecting the Baby"I feel like a psycho, it takes so much of my part to control it. I've never felt this angry in my life. I feel like punching/hurting someone ( I haven't, like I said I control myself ) but it physically hurts to keep it in" These are the words of Dalinajimenez, pregnant and calling out for help. Another named Jeenee says "All my crazy pregnant anger somehow gets directed at my poor husband! We were driving to his work's Christmas party and he kept interrupting me when I was telling him something. I just flipped out on him. I felt really bad after I did it and I apologized for getting soooo mad"

They are not the only one suffering from Anger, an emotion more and more women  find hard to manage during pregnancy.   Anger is a completely normal, and usually healthy, emotion. We have all experienced anger due to frustration, hurt, betrayal, annoyance, disappointment, harassment and threats.


According to APA (American Psychologists Association) documentation, anger is accompanied by physiological and biological changes: when we get angry, our heart rates and blood pressure go up, as do the levels of our energy hormones as adrenaline and epinephrine are released, contributing to growing tension and causing blood vessels to constrict. This reduces oxygen to the uterus, thus compromising fetal blood supply.

Researches have shown that long-term anger or anxiety can have detrimental effects on your baby. Some effects include: 

  • Premature birth (delivered before 37 weeks).   Pre-term babies are susceptible to a range of complications later, including chronic lung disease, developmental delays, learning disorders and infant mortality.

  • A problematic birth, or

  • A low birth weight (even when full term) baby, that can lead to infant mortality.  A Normal birth weight is defined as greater that 5 lb. 5 oz.; moderately low birth weight is 3 lb. 5 oz. to 5 lb. 8 oz., and very low birth weight is less than 3 lb. 5 oz.

  • Hyper active baby:  Research has indicated that extreme anxiety during pregnancy could double a mother's chance of having a hyperactive child. Most recently, some studies are suggesting that stress in the womb can affect a baby's temperament and neurobehavioral development.

How to Manage the Emotional Outburst

In order to prevent these harmful effects, Anger needs to be constructively channelized.

The American Psychological Association (APA) suggests following measures.

  • Is Your Anger Affecting the BabyPractice Relaxation: Spare some quality time for yourself, be it watching a movie, doing meditation, listening to songs or going for a spa therapy.

  • Exercise Regularly: Depending on your level of fitness and health status mark out 20 min of your daily routine as time to exercise. Find the right reasons to exercise so that you do not  drop out. Not only will it keep you physically fit but it will also help you to manage your emotions better. Exercise is known to release happy hormones which make you feel good about yourself and others. In a fit of rage, the best thing to do would be to head for a walk and cool your nerves.

  • Try keeping a journal where you can express your thoughts and emotions.

  • Try something special with your partner, such as a weekend getaway, to give yourselves a chance to remember what you love about each other.

  • Educate yourself about fertility problems. Read as much as you can about fertility problems, and ask your doctor and other couples in your same situation questions. This is especially important when you're dealing with a fertility problem because the technologies behind the treatments are complicated and change quickly. "You've got to understand what's happening medically," says Epstein, "or you won't be able to make informed choices."

  • Count one to ten: The moment you fly into a rage stop and count from one to ten. The intensity of rage is bound to subside.

  • Become rationale: Angry people tend to curse or speak in highly colourful terms which reflect their inner feelings and thoughts, so when angry try replace those usual dramatic thoughts with more rational ones.

  • Aim for a healthy diet: Stress is known to rob the body of essential vitamins and minerals, yet a healthy diet can help the body fight back. Make sure you compensate for any shortfalls by eating foods that are rich in essential nutrients. Increase the intake of carbohydrates and proteins in your diet, recommended eating options such as nuts, green leafy vegetables and fortified wholegrain breads. In between the meals, you may have salads and fresh fruits.

  • Sleep Well:  catch up on your sleep for, lack of adequate doze hours can leave you stressed and  irritable.

Learning to manage stress and anger will leave you and the life within a happier person.

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Dated 13 April 2013

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