Why Stress Plays a Vital Role During Pregnancy? Causes and Effects of Stress in Pregnancy

Why Stress Plays a Vital Role During Pregnancy? Causes and Effects of Stress in Pregnancy

Stress is a natural reaction to a significant change (such as pregnancy). Being pregnant can make you feel various emotions, including anxiety and stress, which is entirely normal. Stress can sometimes be beneficial to people because it motivates them to take action in the face of new challenges.

While it is pretty natural to feel these emotions, prolonged or severe stress during pregnancy is harmful to both you and your baby. Chronic stress can exacerbate pregnancy symptoms (such as insomnia, body aches, and so on) or contribute to more significant issues such as depression, weight gain (too much or too little), or even high blood pressure.

Stress During Your Pregnancy

During the nine months of pregnancy, a lot of things change. It is no surprise that you are feeling a little stressed while pregnant. The pregnancy hormones mess with your moods, the preparation work needed for the baby’s arrival, and concerns about labor and delivery. The ongoing pandemic has added an extra layer of stress for most people, pregnant or not. Stress is prevalent during pregnancy and is to be expected. The good news is that not all stress is bad; some stress may be beneficial. It can help you get through difficult times and keep you alert to concentrate on taking the best care of yourself and your fetus.

Causes of Stress During Pregnancy

Finding out that you are pregnant can be a stressful experience for some women. The causes of stress differ from every other woman. The following are some of the most common sources of stress for pregnant women.

  • Fear of miscarriage
  • Fear of childbirth and labor
  • Unpleasant physical changes such as nausea, tiredness, mood swings, and backache
  • Work and assist your employer before your maternity leave
  • Apprehension about caring for a child
  • The financial strain of raising a child

Effect of Stress During Pregnancy

We don’t fully comprehend the impact of stress on pregnancy. Whether severe or long-term, stress can affect your immune system, protecting you from infection. This can increase the chances of a uterine infection. This infection can result in premature birth.

Severe Stress Can Lead to Pregnancy Problems

On the other hand, certain stress-related hormones may play a role in developing certain pregnancy complications. Different problems come with the effects of stress on pregnancy.

  • You might get into unhealthy coping mechanisms like drinking, smoking, drugs, or overeating.
  • Stress can lead to anxiety and depression that can affect your pregnancy and general well-being.
  • High levels of stress can exacerbate any existing chronic conditions and make you more susceptible to illness.
  • High levels of stress for an extended period could lead to high blood pressure and heart disease.

Can Stress During Pregnancy Hurt Your Baby?

During pregnancy, stress from everyday life, such as rushing to meet a deadline or finish nursery, will not harm your baby. On the other hand, extreme, chronic, and long-term stress in pregnancy affects the baby in several ways. Miscarriage, preterm delivery, low birthweight babies, and developmental delays are possible side effects. Premature or small-for-gestational-age babies are more likely to have complications than full-term, normal-weight newborns. They can also put your baby at risk for future physical and mental development issues, as well as behavioral problems in childhood.

Tips on Managing Stress During Pregnancy

All expecting mothers should learn how to manage their stress during pregnancy a top priority. Finding different ways to cope with this stress is essential for any expecting mother. So take a step back and try some of the following stress-relieving techniques:

  1. Take Deep Breaths: Deep breathing allows us to get more oxygen into our bodies, which relaxes our muscles, bodies, and minds. Try meditation or simply sit calmly and take long, belly-filling breaths in your nose before slowly exhaling through your nose or mouth.
  2. Prioritize Your Rest: While some pregnant women fall asleep at the drop of a hat, sleeping becomes more difficult as the pregnancy progresses. Not getting enough rest can cause stress to rise. Sleep for 7-9 hours every night and set a bedtime to help you achieve that.
  3. Move Your Body: Incorporating some movement into your day is good for your body and mind.

Yoga Relieves Stress During Your Pregnancy

Endorphin chemicals released by exercise can improve your mood and even relieve depression and anxiety symptoms. Doing yoga or just going for a walk is a great way to raise your heart rate.

  1. Eat Healthily: Growing a human is a lot of work, so ensuring you get a good mix of healthy foods is one of the best forms of self-care. Do not be afraid to treat yourself occasionally but remember that fueling your body with healthy choices will get your baby all the nutrients.
  2. Let Your Emotions Out: Sometimes, sharing your feelings or worries with someone else can take some weight off your shoulders. Talk to other pregnant or new mamas to relieve stress during their pregnancies. You can try writing all your thoughts by keeping a journal.

Infographic: Tips for Managing Stress During Pregnancy

Managing Stress During Pregnancy

Call Our Doctor About Stress During Pregnancy

If you lose sleep every night, have lost your appetite for an extended period, or have your stress has led to unhealthy behaviors, it is time to call the doctor. Parvathi Hospital is one of the best maternity hospitals in Hyderabad that can treat all maternity and gynecological issues. Pregnancy anxiety or depression needs to be treated, so do not delay sharing your feelings. Contact Parvathi Hospital for experienced doctors who provide complete maternity care from pregnancy to healthy delivery.


Will stress affect pregnancy?

High levels of stress that persist for an extended period of time can lead to health disorders like heart disease and high blood pressure. Stress can increase the probability of having a premature or low-birthweight baby during pregnancy.

How to control stress in pregnancy?

There are some proven tips to control your stress during pregnancy, such as taking deep breaths, prioritizing rest, physical body movement, eating healthily, and finally letting all the emotions out.

How to reduce stress and anxiety during pregnancy?

Catch more sleep, eat whole and fresh foods, learn the practical knowledge about pregnancy, build a support system with family, and schedule a particular time for just relaxing. These are the main things you can do to help relieve your stress.

Can stress increase blood sugar during pregnancy?

Stress can increase your blood glucose levels. Stress can also cause you to turn to unhealthful behaviors such as overeating, eating unhealthy foods, or smoking. Managing your stress and relaxing will help you and your baby stay as healthy as possible.

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