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Stress in Pregnancy

The non-specific state of the body of a pregnant woman causes stress. It occurs due to a reaction to adverse stimuli: a hormonal surge, a change in the body, and symptoms of toxicosis. Physiological and psychological factors lead a woman into a position of increased tension from which it is difficult to get out.

Stress adversely affects the health of the fetus. It causes a huge number of developmental abnormalities and greatly increases the level of the hormone cortisol in a child. There may be failures in the formation of the main internal organs.

When Does Stress Start in Pregnancy?

Physiological stress is typical for the first trimester of pregnancy. Pregnancy itself is the stress on the body. It is difficult for a woman to come to terms with her condition at the beginning. This triggers the stress response process.

Psychological stress is more characteristic of the third trimester. Awareness of responsibility for the process of childbirth and the upbringing of the child during this period is included. A woman is afraid of the upcoming birth and sudden changes. A defensive reaction appears in the form of stress manifestations.


The first signs of a stressful state appear between the 8th and 12th weeks of pregnancy. The second trimester is a period of awareness and acceptance of one’s position. There are no stress reactions at this time. They appear at the end of gestation at the 38th-40th weeks. A woman experiences the greatest physiological stress during childbirth.

Stress pregnancy weeks

Stress reactions associated with hormonal changes disappear by the beginning of the second trimester after the 12th week of pregnancy. The state of anxiety, worries, and increased tension in the third trimester lasts until childbirth. They will pass after the 40th week. The end of stress is always associated with the acceptance of her position by the pregnant woman.

How Does it Feel?

A woman feels increased nervous excitability from the first months of pregnancy. It becomes more vulnerable to the influence of external factors. She is worried about her internal state, fatigue, and lack of sleep. She constantly feels her tension, defenselessness, and inner anxiety. Stress can come in acute and mild forms.


Stress is expressed by a sharp reaction to stimuli in an acute manifestation. A woman feels increased muscle tone, excessive excitability, and emotional instability. She is tense and irritable all the time. Any little thing can trigger a not quite adequate reaction.


Stress is manifested by increased levels of anxiety in a milder form. It does not become a woman’s permanent condition. There is a reaction in a period of overwork, difficult, or conflict situations. A woman feels the excessive nervous strain.

Stress is very dangerous for a child’s development. It can cause miscarriage.

Prevention methods

You need to temper your nervous system for effective stress prevention. Train your body to respond appropriately to stimuli. Form these new neural connections. A state during a period of stress should not trigger a destructive mechanism. Take from him only positive experiences.  Specific preventive measures:

Favorite work and environment

Do not be in an environment where you are constantly criticized, where there is a lot of aggression, conflict, and anger. This will nurture in you a high level of dissatisfaction with your life. This condition leads to instability of the nervous system, irritability, and depressive disorders. Surround yourself with love. A calm atmosphere at work,  warm and pleasant environment at home is the best cure for stress.

Healthy food

Good and regular nutrition is an excellent foundation for the health of the nervous system. Micronutrient deficiencies cause an increased response to stimuli. The especially bad effect is the lack of B vitamins, magnesium, theanine, and vitamin D. Eat only valuable foods by eating freshly prepared food. Do not eat fast food, processed foods, and unhealthy foods. More greens, fruits, vegetables, and nuts.

Rest and regular sleep

Overwork and constant lack of sleep are direct paths to a state of deep stress. Get rid of the habit of keeping yourself in increased activity. The body needs rest. The brain especially needs it. It won’t work smoothly without proper sleep. Regular rest will provide a shield for the nervous system. This will reduce vulnerability to stress stimulants.

Why Stress Occurs in Pregnancy?

The causes of stress during pregnancy are initially hormones. High estrogen levels make the nervous system more vulnerable. The woman becomes whiny, sentimental, and sensitive to irritants. There are mood swings and inadequate reactions to difficulties in everyday life, at work, and in personal life.

The whole body experiences severe stress during the gestation period. There is a complete restructuring of the work of all systems at the physiological level. There is a high load on the cardiovascular, circulatory, immune, and other systems. This causes stress.

The pregnant woman is also influenced by psychological pressure from outside. Increased attention to her person, constant talk about responsibility, and numerous advice from relatives and friends. This is a big load on the psyche that can destroy previously established ideas about pregnancy and motherhood.


You can protect your body from stress by developing the right habits. This applies to a healthy lifestyle and reactions to stressors. Do not allow yourself to be nervous and overreact to domestic difficulties that have arisen. Be calmer about the manifestations of toxicosis and the upcoming birth. Some remedies for stress during pregnancy:


Yoga and meditation are great ways to combat stress and anxiety. Mental study and physical exercises normalize the nervous system and soothe and smooth out the symptoms of stress. Turn on calm, relaxing music, make yourself comfortable, close your eyes and immerse yourself in your inner world. Perform simple yoga asanas that will increase muscle tone. This must be done regularly.

Breathing techniques

These are ways to cope with stress without the use of medication. The breathing technique stops the running mechanism of reaction to irritants, reducing their effect on the body and the fetus. It is necessary to stop with increased excitability in a state of stress. Inhale deeply, hold your breath for a couple of seconds and exhale slowly. Repeat this method until you feel relaxed and relieved.

Solitude and peace

Free yourself from external stimuli. Take a warm bath with salt and essential oils. Dim the lights, drink hot tea with soothing herbs, and be in complete silence. This normalizes the nervous system and brings it out of a state of increased excitability. You must abstract from all problems during this period. Stop the stress mechanism. Direct the emerging negative energy away from you.


You should consult a doctor if you experience side effects of stress: breast pain, heart palpitations, and severe headache. It is necessary to call the doctor if you develop a rash, appetite disappears, or stool worsens due to stress. The help of a psychotherapist is needed at a critical point of stress. This is when there is a nervous breakdown, signs of depressive disorders, and apathy.

What Not to Do

Under stress, you cannot go deep into this state. Be sure to talk to loved ones and ask for their help in everyday life. Don’t ignore heightened anxiety. It signals the onset of stress reactions. You are putting your child in danger by being in this non-specific condition. The main prohibitions for stress in pregnant women:

Don’t stay in a negative environment

Don’t stay in an environment that triggered your stress response. Get out of the negative, circumstances and places that produce irritants.

Do not splash out emotions

Don’t keep negative energy in you. It is necessary to get rid of it. Do not restrain yourself, cry, or talk with loved ones.

Do not use sedatives and antidepressants

The use of sedatives during times of stress is not as effective as antidepressants. Their use has many negative consequences.

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