Protecting Our Future

You are here: Home > Tips for Parents > Healthy Pregnancy > Stress & Pregnancy

Stress & Pregnancy

Although pregnancy is a special time in your life, it is also a time of many changes - to your body, in your emotions and in the life of your family - all of which can lead to stress.

When stress builds up to an uncomfortable level it can become harmful.

In the short term, high levels of stress can:

  • cause fatigue or sleeplessness
  • cause poor appetite or induce overeating
  • produce symptoms such as anxiety, headaches, backaches

Over longer periods of time, high levels of stress can:

  • lower resistance to infectious disease
  • contribute to high blood pressure
  • contribute to heart disease

Recent studies suggest that high levels of stress during pregnancy may increase the risk of pre-term labor and having a low birth weight baby.

It appears likely that stress increases the levels of a group of hormones which can constrict blood flow to the placenta

  • this decreases the amount of oxygen and nutrients reaching the baby that it needs for normal growth and development

Stress reduction techniques:

  • make sure you are eating a healthy diet
  • get plenty of rest/sleep
  • with approval of your healthcare provider, get plenty of exercise
  • maintain open lines of communication with your partner and other family members
  • consider trying meditation, biofeedback, guided mental imagery, or yoga

© Cuyahoga County Office of Early Childhood - Invest in Children Child Fatality Review Committee

The Child Death Review Program is funded by: Cuyahoga County, and The Child and Family Health Services Block Grant provided through the Ohio Department of Health. The Child Death Review Program is administered by: The Cuyahoga County Board of Health.