Miscarriage and Psychological condition Healthy baby is a dream of all parents in the world and it is very important to the healthy nation but most of women terminate their pregnancy as miscarriage.The medical term of this condition is“Spontaneous Abortion”.According to World Health Organization (WHO), about 12-15% of clinically recognized pregnancy end miscarriage as well as in Sri Lankan society faced one third of women during their life.Miscarriage is an agitated topic in all the complementary medicine and alternative medical system because it has become a major problem in medical field.In Ayurveda medicine mentioned about miscarriage named “Garbhopagathaka”.
What is miscarriage?
The premature loss of a fetus up to 23 weeks of pregnancy and weighing up to 500g. Spontaneous abortions are very common especially in case of the first pregnancy and commonly occurred in between 7-13th weeks of pregnancy.Authentic books in Ayurveda had mentioned different pronouncement of “Garbhopagathaka”, they are “Garbhasrawa” and “Garbhapaata”.
♦ Garbhasrawa – Up to the fourth month, fetus present in liquid form. In that period if fetus expelled out from the uterus called garbhasrawa.
♦ Garbhapaata – Fifth and sixth months when fetus become dense and firm, in that time if fetus expelled out, it is called garbhapaata.
Causes for miscarriage
The good health of pregnant mother is very important to deliver a healthy baby. In this, good health of pregnant mother meaning is physiological well-being and psychological well-being of the mother.
Imbalance of mental status
Influence of spiritual forces (Like as deva, bhutha, pretha)
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorders (OCD)
Post-traumatic stress disorders
Auto immune diseases
Uterine or Cervical problems
Expose to tobacco smoke
Why psychological condition is important to prevent miscarriage?
If mother has an unhealthy mind that is indirectly influenced the physiological well-being of the mother. As an example if mother has good nutrition, proper age, free from any congenital disorders, no any disorder in reproductive system but she suffers from psychological problem she will face miscarriage. If a pregnant mother is suffering from excessive thinking, excessive fearing, excessive grief and excessive sorrow, it will cause to stress or depression condition. Due to stress, depression and other psychological condition secretion of the cortisol is increased. The elevation of cortisol linked with miscarriage. Cortisol is important for regulating the immune system and reducing inflammation but chronic stress can result in impaired communication between the immune system and the HPA (Hypothalamic- Pituitary- Adrenal axis) axis. Mainly pregnancy period depend on the endocrine system of the women but above the condition disturb to regulate endocrine system. Although increase the cortisol level cause to decrease the level of progesterone. Progesterone hormone has a main role during the pregnancy period. Stress, depression and anxiety can negatively impact the women health therefore inability conceive, complication of pregnancy, disrupt bonding with fetus, disrupt the pregnancy can be happened. This hormone changes affect the every system in the body, increase the blood pressure, the contraction of muscles, increase the respiratory rate, increase the heart rate, increase or decrease the appetite, change the rhythm of the gut, disrupt the immune system, as well as the interrupt the nerves system. Because of that changes caused to fatigue, metabolic disorders, obesity, diabetes, immune disorder and depression. If this unhealthy psychological condition continue throughout the pregnant period, the generation of negative impulse is increased. Therefore it will cased to disrupt the homeostasis psychological condition of pregnant mother as well as the physiological condition. All of these reason caused to breakdown the homeostasis of pregnant mother and finally it caused to miscarriage. In the present situation women are more educated and they are in many professional sectors therefore they have many responsible. Researches had proved more women have suffered from depression and stress related condition. Because of that lots of women suffer from gynecological disorders like miscarriage, PCOS, Dysmenorrhea, Oligomenorrhea. Miscarriage is one of harmful effect due to unhealthy psychological condition. In addition to this premature delivery, low birth weight, longer birth, child’s cognitive development problem and child’s emotional development problem.
How we manage this condition?
If a pregnant mother presents in your family, you must give your more attention her condition and requirement. Giving your support her to do day today activities, take more time to talk with her, giving attention about her medical requirement, doing pleasure work, going to walk on beach, flower gardens or place she willing to visit, taking her to visit her parents. They are very simple tasks which we can do to maintain psychological health of pregnant mother. Ancient time if women get pregnant her parents, relations and friends come to visit her and giving presents, sweets which she likes. But today all of us have very busy lifestyle patterns therefore we never give more attention for these minor reasons. As a therapeutic condition we can use aroma therapy, color therapy, music therapy, imagination technique for breakdown the psychological condition. In Ayurveda these are mentioned under the daivavyaparshya chikithsawa. Although if you are pregnant you must adjust your work schedule and manage your time to give your attention to physical and psychological health. If you have better time management you can do your work without any stress then you can spend leisure time to relax your body and mind. Listening calm music and pirith, watching calm drama, reading books, spending time with nature, pada sambahana (foot massage/ pedicure), sambahana (massage), yoga exercises, walking and meditation are few of activities which you can do to relax your mind. These are very tiny activities but the result of these activities are very huge and they have medical importance. Finally negative psychological conditions are interrupted the endocrine system and balance the homeostasis of the pregnant mother then it caused to miscarriage. We must give our more attention not only physiological well-being but also psychological well-being. As a result we can prevent miscarriage and give convenience to healthy delivery.
B U Wellappili
Final year student (BAMS)
Institute of Indigenous Medicine
University of Colombo