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Reduce stress

During pregnancy, many women feel overwhelmed at times. Between the changes in your body, friends who are full of advice, and the regular stress of daily life, it can be too much! It's important to reduce your stress as much as possible. Stress that affects your health can also affect the health of your growing baby! Talk to your doctor about all your sources of stress.

Day-to-day or Short-term Stress

Your boss is cranky, traffic's a mess, and you forgot to pay a bill. Day-to-day stresses like these can make you anxious and irritable. But you can manage their effects on you. Visit the Short-term stress section of this Web site for tips on coping with short-term stress.

Stress from Pregnancy

Do you still have morning sickness? Is it hard to carry things? Are you always tired? Don't let your pregnancy drive you crazy! After all "stressed" spelled backwards is "desserts." And what are desserts? Something special, something worth waiting for. Just like the baby you are carrying!

Think about what is causing you stress. Then come up with some ways to lower that stress. For instance if your feet hurt at work, maybe you can ask for rest times or to do another task. If you don't feel like you have time or energy for yourself, do only the things that matter and say "no" to the rest.

Most importantly, ask for help.

Your partner, friends, and family want to do things for you. But don't make them guess what you would like. Give them ideas about how they can be a part of your pregnancy and make you feel better. The Opens in new windowThanks for Asking brochure has 42 stress-busting ideas from other moms. Use this as your starting point and add your own ideas! (If the brochure downloads too slowly, try the Opens in new windowplain text version)

Lastly, try not to use food to reduce your stress. Overeating during pregnancy can cause serious health risks to you and your baby and will only add to your stress.

Long-term Stress

Long-term stresses-- such as a broken relationship, being in an abusive relationship, the death of a loved one, racial discrimination, money problems, and sexual harassment -- are larger and longer-lasting sources of stress.

Some long-term stresses have been linked to complications in pregnancy that can cause problems for the developing baby. Long-term stress often comes from problems that may seem impossible to solve. But there are people and agencies that can help you! See Long-term stress for resources that can help.

Domestic Violence

Being pregnant does not protect a woman from an abusive partner. In fact abuse may start or increase when a woman becomes pregnant.

Hitting, pinching, choking, kicking and using weapons are examples of physical abuse. Screaming, blaming, being put down, being controlled, extreme jealousy and threatening suicide are forms of emotional abuse.

Make sure your doctor or nurse knows about your situation. For more information and resources in your area, see the Domestic violence section of this Web site.

Other Links


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Last updated: August 2014

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