Stress from earthquakes can cause premature birth

Turkey is geographically considered an earthquake zone and experienced one of the most devastating disasters. Earthquakes in the Pazarcık district of Kahramanmaraş, which deeply affected millions of people, claimed thousands of victims. Earthquakes, described as major disasters, also resonated on the world agenda. The painful events prompted life-saving methods for everyone aged 7 to 70. The reality of Turkey’s earthquakes has resurfaced with disasters, the epicenter of which is the Pazarcık district of Kahramanmaraş.

Evaluation of the Psychological and Physical Effects of the Earthquake on Pregnant Women, Obstetrics and Gynecology Specialist Op. Dr Şefik Gökçe explained the precautions pregnant women should take during and after the earthquake. Gökçe said: “The most important precaution pregnant women should take to protect themselves and their babies during an earthquake is to wait in the triangle of life position.” Gökçe stated that there are physical problems in pregnant women due to the concussion caused by the earthquake and said, “The triangle of life is important for reducing physical damage and surviving the wreck. At this point, a triangle of life should be created by crouching next to items that can provide protection such as beds, thick sofas, chests, washing machines in the event of an earthquake.

There are things that pregnant women who experienced the earthquake should pay attention to after the disaster. Pregnant women in early pregnancy may be at risk of miscarriage and bleeding due to concussions. Speaking about the persons affected by an earthquake in the first months of pregnancy, Gökçe said: “It is important that pregnant women who experience an earthquake in the first months of pregnancy are examined both physically and psychologically as soon as possible.

Due to the stress caused by the effects of vibrations, the chance of miscarriage increases for the expectant mother. In such a situation, it is extremely important to have a doctor’s examination as soon as possible. At the same time, in case of bleeding, the likelihood of early intervention increases with a doctor’s examination,” and drew attention to the importance of going to a doctor’s check-up without wasting time.

After the earthquake, the risk of infectious diseases arises due to the situation in the region and the fact that many people remain on the streets. Referring to the need to take precautions against epidemics, Gökçe said: “Pregnant women should pay more attention to hygiene after the earthquake.

At this point, it is important to use disinfectants in areas where clean water is not available to ensure body hygiene. In addition, the use of masks is also one of the measures that pregnant women can take against diseases. Again, it is important to follow the directions of health professionals in the region against the risk of disease. He also drew attention to the importance of sanitary conditions, saying, “One of the things that needs to be taken care of is the vaccinations that need to be carried out under the supervision of healthcare workers.

It is extremely important for mothers to protect their health after the earthquake for their babies. It is necessary to approach matters such as nutrition and water consumption sensitively. On the issue of nutrition and supplementary food intake, Gökçe said, “Access to clean water is extremely important. All types of beverages, including packaged water, should be kept in good condition. Otherwise, digestive system disorders such as diarrhea may occur. It is imperative not to consume water left in the open. It is necessary to keep the water high on the ground and out of the sunlight. The same measures apply to food. It is necessary to pay attention to the expiration dates of all foods, including packaged dry foods,” he said.

Gökçe pointed out the importance of supplements such as vitamins and minerals and iron medicines during pregnancy: “After the earthquake, pregnant women may neglect their supplements and medicines. Regular use of supplements such as folic acid, vitamins, minerals and iron supplements is very important. Pregnant women in the earthquake zone should stay in touch with health professionals and get help accessing these supplements,” he said.

For expectant mothers who are in the last stages of their pregnancy, earthquakes can cause premature birth. Referring to this effect caused by the perceived stress and anxiety, Gynecology and Obstetrics Specialist Op. Dr Şefik Gökçe said: “Disasters cause negative emotions such as fear and stress in the expectant mother. Although the chances are slim, contractions can start in the expectant mother in this context. This can cause premature birth or miscarriage. The period of exposure to stress is important at this point. In order not to encounter problems, it is necessary to get medical and psychological help immediately after the earthquake. Thanks to medical treatments, a relaxing effect can be created for the expectant mother’s heart rate, blood pressure and stress hormones,” he said.

Another problem emerging for pregnant women in the earthquake zone is the inability to access the treatments to be followed during pregnancy and the medications to be taken. In order not to disrupt the follow-up of pregnancy, pregnant women should see a doctor as soon as possible. Gynecology and Obstetrics Specialist Op. Dr Şefik Gökçe said, “The pregnancy period is a process that goes from beginning to end under the guidance of a doctor.

In case of natural disasters, follow-up by a doctor may be delayed, especially in pregnant women who are in the earthquake zone. At this point, the importance of medical support for the expectant mother increases. If necessary, increasing the controls is also one of the necessary situations. Psychological support after the disaster is also very important for the mother-to-be, who is confronted with the reality of the earthquake. In order for negative emotions such as stress and anxiety to affect pregnancy, it is necessary to take due care of psychological support, and stressed that pregnant women should not delay physical and psychological examinations after the earthquake.

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