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  • Janine Miller

Are you stressing about stress in pregnancy?

Women are told to enjoy their pregnancy…

To take it easy and look after themselves and their unborn baby. That is easily said and definitely something that most pregnant women would like to do but it’s not always as easy as that.

Pregnancy can be a time of worries, stress and anxiety.

Are you worried about the effects of stress on your baby during your pregnancy? Do you feel anxious about being pregnant? Are you concerned about the health and development of your baby?

Then there is the fear of pain during childbirth.

You could be stressed because of the sudden change of identity and priorities.

Or it could be that juggling home life, work-life and relationships feels like a lot to deal with on top of being pregnant.

Is it true that stress during my pregnancy can affect my baby?

It is true that the baby’s development can be affected by stressful events in the mother’s life because of the transfer of hormones from mother to baby.

It is equally true that stress is a normal part of life and is hard to avoid.

Newer studies show that stress in the womb can lead to mental resilience later in life.

But how much stress is normal and when does it become dangerous?

To feel stressed at times during the day or the week is normal. It becomes more concerning if stress becomes the constant state in which we are functioning on a regular basis.

While stress can be measured by monitoring our cortisol levels, the easiest way is to do-it-yourself and keep track of the variations in your feelings over a period of time.

You know yourself best …

  • You know when you are feeling overwhelmed and exhausted.

  • You know when you are feeling happy and settled.

  • You know when you’re feeling anxious and concerned.

  • And you know when you’re feeling calm and relaxed.

Tune into how you're feeling and and you'll start to get a sense of what you need - then you can spend less time stressing about stress during your pregnancy.

First published at on 30 June 2020.

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