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Technology and Increased Maternal Anxiety
Technology and Increased Maternal Anxiety

Introduction:

The idea for this blog came as a result of a discussion with mothers at the EEL Wellness Day. One of the therapists shared that her friend was astounded she allowed her 14-year-old daughter to travel three stops on the tube alone. This friend asked, “How would you feel if something happened to your daughter?” implying she would never forgive herself if it did. Although it’s a terrible thought for any mother, statistics show that London is much safer now than 20 years ago.

The Role of Technology in Maternal Anxiety:

This conversation made me think about some clients who feel so anxious that they install apps to monitor every movement of their child. Can we really stop something bad from happening to our children? Bad things can happen despite our best intentions. This leads me to question what is really driving this heightened anxiety, especially for mothers. In this blog, I’ll explore both the positive and negative aspects of using technology to monitor maternal health and wellbeing and the potential stress, anxiety, and overwhelm that seem increasingly common.

The Double-Edged Sword of Smart Technology:

In today’s modern world, most of us have some form of smart technology that provides immediate access to a plethora of global information. Many of us use apps for instant monitoring of our or others’ health, location, activities, and more. On the one hand, this is beneficial as it increases connection and communication with others, helps businesses provide more detailed products, and alerts us when things go wrong. However, the downside is that our data is used for various commercial reasons, and easy access to data can give us a false sense of security.

“Amidst the advancements of modern medicine, the essence of motherhood remains a timeless miracle, full of joy and doubt.”
Medical Supervision and the Human Touch:

There’s no doubt that increased medical supervision during pregnancy has greatly reduced maternal-infant morbidity and mortality. However, the way medical supervision is administered has changed dramatically. Traditional hands-on methods have been replaced by technology, which has been a gamechanger in reducing the workload for busy practitioners and enabling the collation of vast amounts of data. Unfortunately, relying solely on external evidence distances the practitioner from “feeling the patient.” Nearly 90% of all communication is non-verbal, so unless this is considered, crucial data can get lost in translation, costing us our humanity.

For example, taking blood pressure with a sphygmomanometer allows us to identify a Pulses Paradoxes. Here we can identify an increasing cardiac and respiratory distress by listening to differences between the first and second “lub-dub” sounds. The body seeks balance, often not easily detected through external monitoring until the problem is well established. Touching the patient for the pulse before taking blood pressure provides a wealth of information. A BP machine offers only a static reading, missing many other indicators that a human touch would catch.

    Real-Life Examples of Technology Versus Human Observation:
    Example 1: Intensive Care Unit Experience

    As a charge sister in intensive care, one of my patients was being treated with streptokinase to dissolve a blood clot, often the cause of a myocardial infarction. The nurse assigned to their care was terrified when the patient experienced reperfusion arrhythmias, fearing another heart attack. [Reperfusion arrhythmias occur when cardiac muscle circulation is re-established, reversing the cardiac dying process. The cardiac muscles need to flush out excess electrolytes and waste products gathered in the cells to re-establish normal metabolic functioning. This shifting in electrolytes makes the cardiac muscle irritable, causing potential arrhythmias.]

    My first response after seeing the monitor was to check the patient for any signs of distress, which they weren’t showing. The patient was chatting, laughing, and showing no signs of distress. The nurse, fixated on the monitor, gradually relaxed as she saw the arrhythmias lessen and trusted that the patient was okay. Her key learning was to use the monitor as a guideline but to perform all other checks on the patient before considering further action.

    “Modern technology in pregnancy bridges the gap between a mother’s joy and her fears, connecting hearts and creating bonds.”
    Example 2: A Pregnant Client’s Anxiety:

    A more recent case involved a pregnant client struggling with anxiety because medical staff trusted only in external evidence. At her 11+ week pregnancy scan, she was told the baby was too small for a certain test. At 14 weeks, she was told the baby was too big. Naturally, this caused her some anxiety especially because the medical staff were unable to provide any real reassurance.

    With my experience in helping pregnant women, I explored potential clues with her. We discovered the father was very tall, which wasn’t considered in the readings. We decided to wait for the next scan, managing her anxiety in the meantime. The next scan was normal, and she is now nearly at term with everything going well.

    The Question of Technology Setting Mums Up for Anxiety:

    Every pregnant mother delights in hearing their baby’s heartbeat or seeing them in scans. It’s reassuring to know everything is going well and to have experts handle issues. However, dependence on external sources to minimize anxiety prevents mums from developing a resilient self-regulation system. Additionally, every scan and medical intervention influences a lifelong connection between a mother and her baby. This bond, coupled with bonding hormones during pregnancy, birth, and post-natal nurturing, creates a deep connection. Any potential severing of this bond, real or imagined, can shock the mother.

    Mothers have a memory trace of their own experience in the womb and the separation that occurs when the umbilical cord is cut. Part of our inner life’s purpose is to reconnect with our missing self, seeking a “WE” experience instead of being alone. Pregnancy offers a taste of this “WE” experience, but the baby will eventually live separately. Life conditions how we bond with ourselves and others, influencing our parenting. Without learning to interpret our internal signals, we cannot feel safe or trust ourselves. This leads to anxiety, as we constantly seek external evidence for reassurance.

    The Impact of Overprotective Parenting:

    It’s easy to see why a mother might suffer from separation anxiety, leading to overprotective parenting. We are caretakers of our children, whose job is to face the world with confidence and support. If they don’t learn to trust their own judgments or navigate challenges, we’ve failed them. Keeping them as children doesn’t help; teaching them to be safe and savvy does. More over there is increasing evidence to suggest that there is an increase in childhood anxiety amongst children with over protective parents.

    One of my clients admitted to putting a tracking app on her child and because she felt incredibly anxious. She felt that she needed to constantly be monitoring him just “in case” something terrible happened. She had lost a child, relatively recently through illness, so her actions were understandable. As we worked on her anxiety, she became much more resilient with regards to being comfortable with the discomfort of not knowing. This allowed her to set up new safety parameters so she could manage her anxiety. It also assisted her in developing trust in herself and her child. Interestingly, others saw her child as a dream to look after, only being challenging with her. Once she learned to be calmer and more accepting, her child responded positively. By the end of our sessions, she decided to remove the app from his phone.

    “Technology’s touch can transform a mother’s anxiety into serenity, even as she navigates the conflicts within.”

    Tips to Navigate Anxiety Whilst Relying on Technology
    1. Set Limits on Screen Time

    Allocate specific times of the day for checking health apps or other technology-related tasks. This helps prevent constant monitoring and reduces anxiety.

    2. Use Technology Mindfully

    Choose apps and devices that provide reliable, useful information without overwhelming you. Avoid apps that cause unnecessary worry or provide too much information.

    3. Balance with Offline Activities

    Engage in activities that don’t involve screens, such as walking, reading, or spending time with family. This can help ground you and reduce the time spent worrying.

    4. Seek Reassurance from Professionals

    When in doubt, consult with healthcare professionals rather than relying solely on technology. They can provide personalized advice and reassurance.

    5. Practice Relaxation Techniques

    Incorporate relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, or yoga into your routine to help manage anxiety.

    6. Stay Informed but Not Overwhelmed

    Keep yourself informed about your pregnancy and health, but be cautious of information overload. Curate your sources of information carefully.

    7. Connect with Supportive Communities

    Join online or offline support groups where you can share experiences and get support from other mothers who understand what you’re going through.

    8. Trust Your Instincts

    While technology can be helpful, trust your instincts and your body’s signals. If something feels off, don’t hesitate to seek medical advice.

    9. Use Apps for Positivity

    Utilize apps designed for mental wellness, such as meditation apps, positive affirmation apps, or those that track and encourage good habits.

    10. Create a Tech-Free Zone

    Designate certain areas in your home as tech-free zones to encourage relaxation and family bonding without the interference of screens.

    11. Educate Yourself About Tech

    Understanding how the technology you are using works can reduce anxiety. Knowing what to expect and how to interpret data can make the experience less stressful.

    12. Personalize Notifications

    Customize app notifications to alert you only about the most critical information. This can help reduce constant distractions and anxiety-inducing alerts.

    13. Limit Social Media Exposure

    Social media can sometimes increase anxiety due to comparison and misinformation. Limit your exposure and follow accounts that provide support and positive content.

    14. Talk About Your Concerns

    Share your feelings and concerns with a trusted friend, family member, or therapist. Talking can often help alleviate worries and provide a different perspective. This is a new phenomenon of the modern world so it really is trial and error to find out want works for you.

    15. Focus on the Present Moment

    Mindfulness practices that focus on the present moment can help manage anxiety. Try to stay present and enjoy your pregnancy journey without getting too caught up in potential future worries.

    Conclusion:
    Open to New Possibilities:

    In this blog, we explored the intricate relationship between technology and increased maternal anxiety. While smart technology provides immediate access to information and monitoring tools, it also has a downside, fostering a false sense of security and dependence on external data. Medical advancements have significantly reduced maternal-infant morbidity and mortality, yet the reliance on technology over traditional hands-on methods can disconnect practitioners from the human aspect of care.

    Real-life examples highlight the importance of balancing technology with human intuition and observation. Over-reliance on external evidence can lead to unnecessary anxiety, as seen in the case of the pregnant client and the intensive care patient.

    Technology’s influence extends to parenting, where constant monitoring can perpetuate overprotective behaviors and hinder a child’s development of independence. The key takeaway is to use technology as a supportive tool while trusting our internal signals and nurturing our ability to self-regulate. This balance helps mothers foster a resilient connection with themselves and their children, ensuring a healthier, less anxious approach to parenting and maternal wellbeing.

    “In the warmth of reds, golds, oranges, and pinks, a mother’s smile shines despite the undercurrent of her worries.”

    I have over 30 years of experience helping pregnant women. This is my purpose. From an esoteric perspective there are so many souls coming to reincarnate and evolve and they need to do this well in this lifetime and so, my job is to give them the best opportunity that I can by helping their mums.

    If this resonates and you are ready I would love to support you on your journey. Book yourself in for a FREE introductory chat. In that session we can start exploring what you want and how I can help you to achieve that outcome. We need to know where are your potential blocks (your biggest gaps) and what is in season to work with right now. Timing is everything and pregnancy is a time when we can do magnificent work together to help you make the biggest difference for you in attaining your outcome.

    Frequently Asked Questions
    1. Question: How does technology impact maternal anxiety?
      • Answer: Technology can impact maternal anxiety both positively and negatively. While it provides immediate access to information and monitoring tools, fostering a sense of security, it can also lead to over-reliance on external data and increased anxiety when faced with potential threats or uncertainties.
    2. Question: What are the downsides of relying too much on technology for maternal health?
      • Answer: over-reliance on technology can lead to a false sense of security, a disconnect from human intuition and traditional hands-on care methods, and increased anxiety when technological readings suggest potential issues. It can also lead to decreased self-trust and dependence on external validation.
    3. Question: How can mothers balance the use of technology with trusting their instincts?
      • Answer: Mothers can balance technology with their instincts by using technology as a supportive tool rather than a primary source of reassurance. Developing self-regulation skills, seeking guidance from experienced professionals, and trusting their internal signals can help maintain this balance.
    4. Question: What role does a mother’s internal experience play in managing anxiety during pregnancy?
      • Answer: A mother’s internal experience is crucial for managing anxiety during pregnancy. Trusting internal signals, understanding personal and familial contexts, and developing a resilient self-regulation system can help reduce reliance on external data and foster a healthier emotional state.
    5. Question: How can mothers reduce anxiety related to monitoring their children?
      • Answer: Mothers can reduce anxiety related to monitoring their children by setting realistic safety parameters, trusting in their child’s ability to navigate the world, and focusing on teaching safety and independence. Additionally, seeking support for managing their own anxiety can lead to a more relaxed and positive approach to parenting.
    General FAQ

    If you have any questions, feedback, or need further assistance, you can easily message me through the contact form on my website. I strive to respond promptly to all inquiries and look forward to connecting with you!

    How can I message you?

    If you have any questions, feedback, or need further assistance, you can easily message me through the contact form on my website. I strive to respond promptly to all inquiries and look forward to connecting with you!

    What services do you offer?

    As a Pregnancy and Infertility coach, I specialize in helping professional women to navigate the challenges they experience on their pregnancy journey. I help them reclaim back control by provide them with a safe, non-judgmental space where they can openly express their feelings, fears, frustrations and be empowered to confidently create a safe, nurturing and loving environment for themselves and their unborn child.

    My passion lies in empowering women to effect sustainable, positive changes in their lives. To achieve this, I employ a diverse range of transformational tools that help in the release of trauma, PTSD, grief, and loss, particularly those stemming from their primary mother wound. Together, we embark on a journey of growth and healing, inspiring each individual to find solutions that ensure a healthier and more fulfilling pregnancy experience.

    Can anyone benefit from your coaching programs?

    Absolutely! While my specialization is in tailored to working with professional women who are focused on issues surrounding pregnancy the primary trauma that most women experience is a the collect mother wound. My coaching programs and healing books are designed to benefit any individual, especially women, seeking to overcome trauma, heal deep wounds, and create a positive impact on their lives.

    How can I access your trauma healing books?

    You can access my trauma healing books, Amazon’s number one best-selling authors, through various platforms, including Amazon Kindle, paperback, and other online bookstores. Additionally, you may find links to these books on my website, making it convenient for you to explore and purchase them.

    Using Conscious Pregnancy a Pathway to Sovereignty

    A holistic approach is always going to be the best approach in treating anyone whether their goal is to heal or to evolve. Every decision we make is influenced by our emotions. Emotions are the physical or embodied part of our feeling or thoughts. Our brain tries to make sense of our sensations and feelings things by giving them labels. We do this because it is a quick way of accessing information. Therefore we need to have our body and mind working together in harmony. This is what I do. Together we create the right physical and mental environment to focus on the outcome that you want. We will look at things like regulating your diet, sleep, activities, etc. so that you can experience feeling of being more in control and living more joyously.

    Are your coaching programs tailored for specific individuals?

    Yes, my coaching programs are personalized to cater to the unique needs and goals of each individual. Whether you a want coaching for reasons such as improving relationships, spiritual connection, optimising health or seeking healing from the Mother Wound, I will work closely with you to design a program that aligns with your desires and aspirations and which will result in personal growth.

    How can I stay updated on your offerings and events?

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    Note:

    Content and imaging co-created with myself and opensource AI technology

    “Embrace the journey of motherhood with a smile, balancing the joy of modern technology with the natural anxieties of new life.”

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