Women's Healthcare Topics

Anxiety and Stress are Common in Pregnancy

Reviewed by James Brann, M.D.

Anxiety and Stress

Anxiety and stress, while common during pregnancy, is not a healthy side effect of pregnancy. There are many reasons you may feel anxious during pregnancy. Along with pregnancy comes the stress during pregnancy and responsibility of carrying a new life into this often chaotic and unpredictable world. Fortunately you don't have to spend every waking moment thinking, obsessing and stressing over your pregnancy. There are several strategies you can adopt to help reduce the anxiety and stress associated with pregnancy.

Pregnancy Stress that Causes Anxiety

Some of us will worry and obsess about the same things over and over again throughout our pregnancies. Below you'll find a list of common pregnancy stressors and tips for overcoming them to ensure an anxiety and stress free pregnancy.

    Learn about how to cope with anxiety in pregnancy.
  • Stressor #1 - Taking on too much work. It's easy to take on too much and cause stress during pregnancy. Above all other times in your life this is the time to take it easy. You can do this by delegating tasks and slowing down to avoid anxiety during pregnancy. Now is not the time to sign up for extra work or overtime if you can avoid it. Don't nominate yourself president of your local Mom's club yet either. You'll have plenty of time for parenting activities when you aren't pregnant.

  • Stressor #2 - Worry about the baby. It's common and normal for pregnant mothers to worry about the health and well being of your baby causing stress and anxiety during pregnancy. Remember that most pregnancies go off without a hitch. Even if you do experience an unexpected surprise during pregnancy, chances are worrying won't resolve the issue. Make a commitment to yourself not to worry. Try some relaxation and meditation exercises to help relax you throughout your pregnancy. If you have a habit of researching all the frightening rare problems that can arise during pregnancy stop now. Read light hearted and enjoyable materials instead. You and your baby will benefit.

  • Stressor #3 - Worries about labor and delivery. Women have been giving birth since the dawn of time. You will successfully deliver your baby. Keep telling yourself that. Practice your labor in your mind. Imagine yourself having a complication free delivery. Studies suggest the more you worry and fret about delivery, the more likely you are to experience complications. So stop worrying! Try talking to other moms who have experienced enjoyable labors and deliveries.

  • Stressor #4 - Worrying about your parenting ability. If this is your first pregnancy then undoubtedly you will work yourself up into a frenzy at least once or twice during your pregnancy regarding your parenting ability. The truth of the matter is whether or not you have any parenting experience, you will figure out what to do when your baby arrives. And whether or not you have family close by, there are plenty of support groups to provide additional advice and support for new moms. So again, don't worry, avoid the pregnancy stress and eliminate your anxiety during pregnancy!

  • Stressor #5 - Worrying about how clean your house is. Forget about cleaning. Pregnant mothers have a natural inclination toward nesting. This is the desire to clean everything spic and span and prevent unseen germs from entering baby territory. Here again is a situation where anxiety and stress can ruin a perfectly good day. Truthfully speaking everyone has visited someone whose house was not perfectly clean at one time or another. If you are worried about visitors after the baby comes don't. They are there to visit you and the baby, not to inspect how clean your house is. If anything your friends and family should be volunteering to clean for you. After the baby is born take some time away from house chores. The last thing you should worry about is how clean your house looks.


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