Dealing with Stress While Pregnant
Although pregnancy is a beautiful time, it can also be stressful for many reasons. While it’s natural to worry about what is yet to come, it’s important to understand the toll that too much stress can take on our mental and physical health, especially during this period. Keep reading as we review some of the reasons for stress during pregnancy and tips for dealing with stress while pregnant.
How to Deal With Stress During Pregnancy
Table of Contents
- Is stressing bad for pregnancy?
- Reasons for stress in early pregnancy
- Is anger in early pregnancy a sign of stress?
- Signs of stress during pregnancy
- Can stress cause cramping during pregnancy?
- How much stress is too much when pregnant?
- Does stress cause preeclampsia?
- How to avoid stress while pregnant and stay calm
Is stressing bad for pregnancy?
As we mentioned, stress can take a toll on our bodies in more ways than we often realize. With too much stress during pregnancy, you can jeopardize your and your baby’s health. It’s normal to worry a little about things like eating the right foods or being prepared for your baby to be a part of your home. When stress becomes bad for pregnancy is when it becomes constant or for prolonged periods.
If you feel as if you’re constantly stressed, it’s important to seek the right help. Talking to a doctor or healthcare professional will be important to help take control of your mental and physical health. Some of the impacts of too much stress during pregnancy can include fetal development and pregnancy duration.
Reasons for stress in early pregnancy
There are plenty of reasons one can stress in early pregnancy, as many changes are and will be happening in your life. Some common stressors for mothers in early pregnancy include:
- Physical changes: Morning sickness, body changes, and hormones can all contribute to some of the stress felt in early pregnancy. As your body adjusts, you may also be changing your diet. These changes can be challenging, causing you to stress or worry about if you’re doing the right things. While some worry is normal, prolonged worry can have physical and emotional effects.
- Uncertainty about the future: It’s not uncommon to wonder how a baby will impact your life or if you’ll be ready for such a big change. This is a totally normal part of pregnancy for many mothers. Uncertainty can come from many things, including financial uncertainty or feeling unprepared for the baby. We will later review how you can address these stressors to prevent them from impacting your health.
Is anger in early pregnancy a sign of stress?
People show and deal with stress in many different ways. While anger can feel stronger with early pregnancy mood swings, it can also be a sign of stress. Anger causes stress on our bodies due to the hormones released when we feel angry or upset. Self-care and finding ways to bring yourself back to a calm state will help minimize the impact of stress and anger during pregnancy. Keep reading as we give some tips on how best to do that.
Signs of stress during pregnancy
The first part of monitoring stress during pregnancy is knowing what signs to look out for. These signs are what will tell you if it may be time to assess your stress levels and identify the source. Stress can look and feel differently for everyone, and you may already know how stress impacts you. Here are some signs you can look out for during your pregnancy:
- Change in appetite
- Headaches, Back pain, or Neck pain (typically caused by stress tension)
- Excessive worry or sadness
We know what you’re thinking; you may have felt all of these in some shape or form in a pregnancy. As we mentioned, some stress is normal. When it becomes a problem is when it is prolonged, unchecked, and impacts your physical and mental well-being. If you’re ever concerned about how your stress is impacting you, reach out to your healthcare provider to be sure you have the right tools to keep you and your baby both healthy.
Can stress cause cramping during pregnancy?
Cramping during pregnancy can have various causes and commonly occurs in early pregnancy. When cramping is mild, it’s typically not a cause for serious concern. If it becomes severe or you have any concerns, it's best to seek medical attention. Sometimes mild cramping can signify that you are indeed stressed or overdoing it, calling for some time to relax.
How much stress is too much when pregnant?
Being stressed is something every mother and human goes through. When it becomes too much for pregnant mothers is when it remains prolonged and unchecked. Serious stress can lead to health problems and things like high blood pressure. These things can impact your baby’s health in addition to your own. If you feel like stress, anxiety, or depression are impacting your daily life, it’s time to seek professional help. The most important step is finding support so you can keep yourself and your baby healthy.
Does stress cause preeclampsia?
There are multiple factors that can increase the likelihood of preeclampsia. High stress levels, especially chronic stress, can be a risk factor, leading to more cortisol hormones and high blood pressure that can cause preeclampsia. Learning how to deal with stress during pregnancy will be essential to avoid these risk factors.
How to avoid stress while pregnant and stay calm
While some stress stems from things out of our control, mothers can avoid stress while pregnant by properly managing some of the things they can control. Here are a few ways to avoid stress while pregnant:
- Planning: Through planning and research, many of the things that have you feeling worried or uncertain can be resolved. Here are a few ways to plan ahead:
- Create a registry: One of the best, and most fun, ways to plan for your baby is by creating a registry to keep track of the things you still need and want. Read our Second Trimester Checklist to review all the must-haves for your registry, including your Tushbaby carrier.
- Pack your hospital bag: Being packed can help you feel calm and ready for the baby to arrive as you near labor. The Totebaby is the perfect bag to fit all your necessities. Read our Hospital Checklist blog, so you know just what to pack!
- Support: Whether you need to talk to a professional or spend time with friends, having the right support system will make your pregnancy less stressful. If you are in need of support near you, you can check out local Facebook groups or online communities. Remember that there are others who feel and have gone through similar journeys.
- Self-care: It will be important to spend time doing what helps you unwind. Let’s face it, all that planning and preparing can be exhausting. Take some time to do things you enjoy. This can be a walk outside every day, some time relaxing by watching your favorite show, or even some meditation.
- Don’t overdo it: Moms, we know you are superheroes, but it's important to remember we can’t do it all. Lean on your support system to help you with the things that feel heavy to you. If creating a registry feels stressful, ask a sister, aunt, friend, or partner to help! Sometimes, what is heavy to you is fun for someone else—and people will want to support you in this journey to motherhood.