Coping with Stress During Pregnancy

As a psychologist friend of mine once told me if you don't feel stress in your life you're not paying attention. Everyone experiences stress, even pregnant women. What is not clear, however, is whether stress can have harmful affects on pregnancy. For years obstetricians have looked to see whether an increase in stressful events can either cause miscarriage, result in preterm delivery, or in some other way harm a fetus. Up until recently the consensus had been that while excessive physical work can bring on preterm labor, emotional stress did not seem to have negative effects on pregnancy outcomes. This conclusion, however, has recently been challenged. There now is information to indicate that stress can cause the body to produce certain hormones that can perhaps cause miscarriage and that very likely can bring on preterm labor. Additionally, even if doctors have no "smoking gun" linking stress with negative pregnancy outcomes, pregnant women would want to decrease the amount of stress they have to contend with just because of how unpleasant it makes them feel.Read more

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