Pregnancy and Birth Psychology

Birth; It is not only the birth of a baby, but also the birth of the couple to motherhood and fatherhood, and the story of the human being is shaped not at the moment of birth, but at the moment it falls into the minds of the parents and by the transferences from their ancestors.

During pregnancy, the mother and father-to-be begin to fantasize about their own parenting processes, along with their past family experiences. With the phantasies about the baby, the effect of hormones, the physiological and psychological changes brought about by pregnancy, the expectant mother may develop: anxiety about her baby, fear about birth or different anxieties and fears.

Does the Psychology of the Mother during Pregnancy Affect the Baby?

Many expectant mothers are afraid of childbirth for different reasons, even though they have never experienced it. To give a few examples, first of all, it is very important how the person’s own birth story is conveyed to him (positive/negative-scary). Another reason is to listen to other people’s negative birth stories and attribute other people’s experiences to their own birth. The difficulties experienced by the person in the previous birth/births may also turn into the anxiety of experiencing the same things when they become pregnant again. Fear of the responsibilities of being a parent, feelings of inadequacy, problems in the relationship with the spouse, the relationship with their own parents, not wanting to move away from their career, postpartum care of the baby and anxiety about what kind of life awaits them, traumatic life events, previous miscarriage, abortion stories etc. The mother’s feelings and thoughts during pregnancy can affect the personality of the unborn baby.

The uterus is the baby’s first world. In the shaping of the human world, both before and after birth, many factors come together and affect the formation of personality. A single event does not create a personality, it creates a pattern. The fetus is a being that can see, hear, taste, and feel, though not like an adult. Just as a mother’s use of cigarettes, alcohol, and certain medications during her pregnancy has negative effects on the unborn baby, the mother’s feelings and thoughts can also have positive/negative effects on the baby. What the baby feels and perceives in the mother’s womb allows shaping his expectations and behaviors about himself, as well as the behavioral patterns and attachment style formed as a result of how the child sees himself after birth is partially based on the messages he receives in the mother’s womb. As the uterus is a home for the baby, it also creates his expectations from life. If it has been a warm and loving place, the womb for the baby will expect the outside world to be like this after the child is born, and it will determine their predisposition to develop a sense of confidence, to be extroverted, and to trust oneself and others. Otherwise, when the uterus is a difficult environment for the baby, after birth, the baby will expect the same things from the outside world and will form introverted, suspicious, distrustful tendencies towards himself and others.

Known as prenatal and perinatal psychology in the world, these fields examine the psychology of the expectant mother and the psychology of the unborn baby. Research is being conducted on what the fetus can learn in the womb, what affects it, and what it records as well. The level of psychosocial support during pregnancy is very important for mental health and the health of the fetus. According to a study conducted at the University of Michigan, it was found that excited mothers give birth longer than calm mothers. According to a study conducted at the University of Cincinnati, 10 psychological factors were investigated and the ones that prolong labor pains the most and complicate birth were found to be “attitude towards motherhood”, “relationship with mother”, “habitual unrest, worries, fears”, respectively. At Brown University, it was noted that 50 expectant mothers (25 normal, happily awaiting delivery, 25 with problems) experienced various birth complications, small and large, among women who had problems after giving birth, while not a single one of the normal group had any problems. In a study conducted at the University of North Carolina, expectant mothers who have intense anxiety about the health of their babies without medical symptoms and that they will be born with disabilities have a much higher risk of experiencing complications during birth, the births take longer, and the babies’ apgar (test performed between 1 and 5 minutes after birth) grades. was observed to be low. Freud defined this anxiety as “a regression to some stage in the evolutionary history of the sense of self, a regression to a period when the self was not yet clearly delimited by the other and the outside world”.

Importance of Pregnancy and Birth Psychologist

Pregnancy is a very special moment. It includes not only physiological but also mental and psychological factors. During pregnancy and childbirth; Getting psychological support in case of need is an important step for both the expectant mother and father, and the baby who has not yet opened his eyes to the world, but records everything in his body. The expectant mother; the birth in her own family history, the effects of pregnancy experiences and perceptions on her own pregnancy process, emotions and thoughts suppressed since childhood, and traumatic events experienced during pregnancy are revealed. Pregnancy allows the expectant mother to identify both with her own mother and with the child in that relationship, that is, with herself, and past suppressed anxieties and unresolved memories may resurface. In addition, psychological support has a very important place in order to increase the anxiety and fears about pregnancy, the perception of pregnancy, negative thoughts and concerns about the baby, the quality of the relationship with the family and the spouse, and the fears about the moment of birth. The importance of psychological support at the time of birth is; Even if the mother-to-be is worked psychologically before the birth, unconscious past traumas, anxieties and fears about birth can be revived at the time of birth, although there is no medical reason, sometimes the progress of the birth may stop, the mother and / or the baby may become stressed, in such cases, they will understand the problem and have an effect on the termination of the birth. By analyzing the psychological factors that cause birth, it is supported to continue the birth in the flow again. It aims to ensure that the baby does not open his eyes to the world with negative birth memories, while supporting the mother to remain calm throughout the whole process, as well as ensuring that she gives birth without being affected by the negative memories coming from her unconscious records during birth.

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