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Prenatal Stress And Anxiety During Pregnancy: What You Should Know

Updated: Nov 2, 2023

Prenatal stress and anxiety can affect both you and your baby. If you have an existing mental health condition, it may get worse. You may also develop new symptoms. When stress or anxiety is not treated, you may be at higher risk of preterm birth or having a low-birth weight baby. It’s important to manage prenatal stress and anxiety so that both you and your baby are healthy during pregnancy.

What Is Prenatal Stress And Anxiety?

Prenatal stress and anxiety is a condition that affects pregnant women, where they feel stressed or anxious about their pregnancy. It’s different from postnatal stress and anxiety, which occurs after the birth of your baby. Prenatal depression is also a separate condition that occurs during pregnancy, but it is not related to prenatal stress or anxiety.

Prenatal depression usually lasts for about two weeks after giving birth – this may be called “baby blues”. Postpartum depression refers specifically to any symptoms of depression that occur within four weeks of childbirth (postpartum). Postpartum anxiety can refer to any symptoms of anxiety that occur within four weeks after giving birth (postpartum). Contact: Revive Therapeutic Services

When Does It Occur?

The first trimester is the most common time for prenatal stress to occur. The second and third trimesters are also common times for prenatal stress to occur, as well as after birth.

The exact causes of prenatal stress vary from person to person and can include:

  1. Stressful life events such as a death in the family or divorce

  2. Changes in sleep patterns or diet that make you feel tired or nauseous

  3. Feelings of isolation or helplessness

How Does It Affect The Baby?

Your baby’s health and development depend on you. In fact, research suggests that prenatal anxiety and stress may affect your baby’s:

  1. Birth weight

  2. Premature birth

  3. Developmental delay

How Can I Manage My Prenatal Stress And Anxiety?

  1. Talk to your doctor. If you’re pregnant and experiencing prenatal stress, it’s important to talk to your doctor. They can offer support and help point you toward resources that may be helpful.

  2. Talk to a therapist or counselor. If talking with your doctor isn’t helping or if there’s something else going on in your life that could be contributing to the anxiety, it’s good for you and your baby for him or her to get professional help from someone who specializes in prenatal mental health issues like postpartum depression.* Take yoga classes or meditate regularly.* Be open and honest with your partner about what’s going on.* Go for walks outside when weather permits–exercising outdoors can help calm nerves by getting fresh air into the lungs while taking in nature’s beauty.* Try eating well-balanced meals containing whole grains, fruits and vegetables (organic if possible), as well as lean proteins like fish or white meat chicken—these foods contain nutrients that are important during this time of life! Avoid alcohol & drugs which will only serve as additional stressors during an already stressful period of life:)

There are ways to reduce and manage prenatal stress and anxiety.

  1. Talk to your doctor. If you are feeling a lot of stress and anxiety, it’s important that you get a check-up with your doctor. They may be able to give you tips on how to manage the symptoms or refer you to other professionals who can help.

  2. Talk with your partner or family members/friends about what’s going on. You don’t have to deal with this alone—your support network is there for a reason! Let them know how they can be helpful during this difficult time for you, even if it means just being around as an extra pair of hands when needed (or by taking over some household chores so that you can take some time off).

  3. See if there’s anything else in life causing stress and make changes accordingly. Your prenatal health isn’t the only thing that matters during pregnancy; everything else needs tending too! If something has been weighing heavily on either mind or body, take steps now so that its effects won’t linger into later stages of pregnancy—and beyond! For example: maybe going back full-time at work isn’t feasible right now… but maybe working part-time would still allow enough income while helping relieve some pressure too? Or perhaps forming new friendships outside work could offer relief from long hours spent inside cubicles every day? Or perhaps finding ways to stay active outside work might make dealing with burnout easier than simply sitting idle all day long? Even though these changes will feel like work themselves sometimes (especially when tired!), remember their purpose: supporting both motherhood ahead


Prenatal stress and anxiety are common, but that doesn’t mean you should ignore them. If you find yourself overwhelmed by the fear of not being able to take care of your baby or having a healthy pregnancy, it’s important to reach out for help. Talk with your partner about what is going on and consider seeking professional support if needed.

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