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Q&A: Does stress affect pregnancy?

I have a very high-pressure job and was wondering if high stress rates could have negative effect on my baby? If so, what can I do about it?

Re: I have a very high-pressure job and was wondering if high stress rates could have negative effect on my baby? If so, what can I do about it?

The Bump Expert

The simple and honest answer is yes. But, stress is an inevitable part of all our lives, and only one factor among many in a healthy pregnancy. And the last thing I want is for women to start stressing about the stress in their lives. We have enough to worry about already! I tell the women I work with to change the things they can, and learn ways to cope with what they can't.

With work stress, think about ways to take on a lighter load, or consider participating in a job share arrangement. Now is the time to wrap up projects, not take on new ones. After all, maternity leave is right around the corner. If reducing your work load is not possible, there are plenty of tools out there to help you manage the stress, including journaling, meditation, yoga, counseling and stress reduction classes. If you haven’t tried any of these before, pregnancy is an excellent time to begin.

One resource I particularly like is Mindful Birthing, a stress reduction program developed by John Kabat-Zinn in Massachusetts. It was designed for people with chronic pain, but has been adapted to help women with the stresses and uncertainties of childbirth and parenting, and focuses on staying in the moment.  But any class, book, tape, or counseling session that helps you cope with stress is beneficial, during your pregnancy as well as when you're a new parent. And don't forget to set aside time for regular, low-impact exercise and eat small, frequent, healthy meals and snacks throughout the day. The healthier your body, the better it will handle the inevitable stress thrown at it.

Maria Kammerer

re: Q: Handling Stress?

How I handle stress is I got a foot massager and I take 10 minutes out of my day to relax and have that work on my feet to do some reflexology. I also get a massage once a week which will really help decrease the stress on the body and mind.

icesmooth |

re: Q: Handling stress?

I don't know if this works for other people, but I just love making checklists (with lots of easy things to do). Then, when I check something off, I get a great sense of satisfaction!

ginarosecapri |

re: Q: Handling stress?

My job is forever changing. Once the stress level seems to decrease, the next day they hit me with something worse. My employer was fine with my pregnancy in the very beginning but now that I am almost 5 months it seems like they could care less. They are even saying now that I dont qualify for maternity leave since I havent been here for a year AND the story was different when I was filling out my application. Ugh Im so ready to leave but my finances need me to stick it out another month or two. The yoga helps but I need something else too!!!

Krystal.Lynne |

Q&A: Does stress affect pregnancy?

I work in the Intensive Care Unit at my hospital, which can be very stressful and long 12 1/2 hour days! The best way that I deal with my stress is realizing that's whats most important is that I'm caring for my baby! I try to take deep breathes, take a break and ask people for help. Working out, spending time with friends, shopping, and enjoying my days off seems to help out tremendeously too! Even when caring for some of the sickest patients on a shift, I have to remind myself that I need to care for my baby too, and that means not stressing the small stuff!

JennaRN12 |

Q&A: Does stress affect pregnancy?

My husband has been the biggest source of stress in my pregnancy. I'm 13 weeks today. Next week is my finals week. He's trying to get me to drop out of college and go back next fall! I'm due in June, I want to get as much as I can done right now, rather then have to try and do it all with a baby. He thinks that school & home life (I still live with my parents) are what's causing my stress, but it's him! He caused BH contractions my 11th week from me being so stressed. How do I get him off my back??

Chalaine09 |

Q&A: Does stress affect pregnancy?

i work at a high stress job have two toddlers and a husband who is a problem with my stress as well the only way i handle my stress is yelling at my husband that its mommys special time and to leave me alone then i sit down and write a little in my book.

rayvynkros09 |

Q&A: Does stress affect pregnancy?

Seven months ago I lost my son at 34 weeks gestation to a cord complication and now I'm 19 weeks pregnant. I am scared everyday that I will lose this baby, but I know that the stress isn't good for me and especially the baby. All in all I can exercise, eat right, go to therapy, attend my infant loss support groups, and lean on those that I can trust. But for me its finding that inner peace and balance because I have no control of what may happen. There's nothing like going through the worst case prenancy scenario and stressing over the fact that it could happen again.

summit0208 |

Q&A: Does stress affect pregnancy?

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watson012 |

Q&A: Does stress affect pregnancy?

I have a very stressfull life as well.I got a postion a week before I found out I was pergo! I have a 3 1/2 year old and a 10 month old. I am 19 weeks and I was not planning on another baby. My youngest still does not sleep all night and they are gonig to be 15 months apart. I also have a husband that works night and has been working everyday since Easter. I know if it was not for my mother, my in laws and my aunts I would be at a mental house with a paded room. You need your family to support you. Just take one day at a time and learn how to deal with the stress.

dhughes3in3years |

Q&A: Does stress affect pregnancy?

When I first was pregnant, my supervisor was supportive. I am now 18 weeks and have missed some time due to severe morning sickness and migraines. He is now pushing me to work large amounts of overtime and take on additional responsibilities because HE is stressed. I told him that stress greatly adds to my complications and mentioned talking to my doctor. He then immediately backed off and back tracked on his earlier demands. By speaking up and standing up for myself, I not only feel better I let him know my concerns. Putting your baby first is priority during this special time.

mrsuramkin |

Q&A: Does stress affect pregnancy?

In my case my main source of stress is my parents . I dont live with them but they always call me and start arguements and them doing this has caused me to get so upset that i thought i was guna pass out and my heart jump outta my chest. Me and my husband handled it it the only way we knew how by almost completely cutting them out of our lives and if i wanted them to know anything then my husband would handle it so i could stay stress free .

christinetubbs87 |

Q&A: Does stress affect pregnancy?

I have a lot of stress as well. I work 50-60 hour work weeks standing with no breaks, we are dealing with the financial stress of 2 mortgages, and I have a high risk pregnancy. I am just taking everything one day at a time and taking deep breaths whenever I feel myself getting anxious or overwhelmed. Prioritize your issues and take care of the more important things sooner and put off the non-urgent issues. Do something about the things you can control and for everything else just breathe because it's out of your hands.

sbreno |


22 weeks today, I feel very lonely, sad & I worry a lot bout me dying or something goin wrong during labor or even after..... this is not my first baby & I get the same symptoms wit the other ones 2.... I would like to know if yall feel the same I think it would help a lot 2 know that im not alone?? Thank u guys

sexyhaze |

Q&A: Does stress affect pregnancy?

I have a VERY high-high risk pregnancy (blood disorders, gene mutation, 40 & RPL), have had 4 losses prior to this, I am a CPA & a long-time sufferer of anxiety attacks & GAD. I haven't had 1 live child yet but I am now 40 & 18wks preggers. I had to "cut back to 40 hrs" at work, cut out any PEOPLE in my life that create drama, I do reiki & I meditate on the bible almost every morning, listen to wonderful spa-type music, do visualization, walk 3x/wk, do yoga 1x/wk, use lavender oil on my wrists & inhale when stressed, I eat very healthy, relax as much as possible & learned to JUST SAY NO. Hubby has taken over dinners so I can relax at night & I thought that would be impossible. (If this sounds stressful, just try adding 1 healthy habit per 1-2 wks, then do another, etc...baby steps!) A Certified Prenatal Massage is also great when I can afford it or as a reward for getting thru something hard. But please do NOT do massage or reflexology unless they are a certified prenatal specialist. Certain trigger points on feet, wrists, ankles, neck, etc can invoke premature contractions, so they must have a separate license to do these things on preggos. GL ladies! If I can do it, I know you all can!

LilSluz |

Q&A: Does stress affect pregnancy?

I had to find something else to do to keep my mind busy. Crocheting, read a book, play on the iPad, shop for baby things, etc. Since I live in a frigid cold location, its hard to get out for a walk and we don't have a gym to walk in but that could be a different option. Movies are good distractions if you go for a good comedy!

nlkeizer |