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
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 Thanks
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 plain
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 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.
Being pregnant does not protect a woman from an abusive
partner. In fact abuse may start or increase when a woman
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.
For more health information, search MedlinePlus
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Last updated: August 2014