Pregnancy

Stress during pregnancy

Nervous woman wearing white

This article may help answer:

Why does pregnancy feel stressful?

What are the main causes of stress during pregnancy?

How can I cope with stress during pregnancy?

The waiting and trying are over – you’re pregnant. It’s great news. So why do you still feel so stressed? 

Find out more:

    Pregnancy can feel overwhelming at times. The questions are endless. Is my baby ok? Will I be a good mum? Will labour be too painful for me? Will my partner still think I’m sexy? Will my body ever be the same?

    Every woman has her own experience of pregnancy and no two are exactly the same. When you consider what you are undertaking – not only growing a tiny human, but then taking responsibility for many, many years to come – it’s easy to see how a little anxiety, stress or worry can creep in.

    Remember that most women feel some level of stress during pregnancy and that it’s normal.

    Identifying the source of your stress might help you decide how it can be reduced.

    If pressures at work are becoming too much, it might be an honest conversation with your boss. If you’re worried about how you and your partner will cope financially after the birth of your baby, getting some professional advice could help.

    The important thing is to address your stress if it is affecting your life, making it hard for you to work or sleep, or making you feel unwell.

    Different strategies to reduce stress will work for different people. Finding your own way to relax is essential, especially when stress levels are high.

    Pregnant woman practicing yoga
    • Exercise: 30 minutes of brisk walking or swimming on most, if not all, days of the week may work wonders.
    • Set your mind free: Investing in a mindfulness meditation app, joining a yoga class or going for a walk may help you to refocus and ease symptoms of stress.
    • Communicate: Find someone to talk to – your partner, friend, mum or a therapist. Being able to voice your fears and frustrations may help you to see how normal and solvable most of them are.
    • Avoid the negative: People love to have an opinion – whether you ask for it or not – and negative chatter can have an impact on your stress levels. If someone is making you feel anxious with their horror stories, politely disengage from the conversation and walk away.
    • Take some time: A walk, reading the paper, watching a movie, getting your nails done. Anything that you enjoy doing alone will help clear your head and help you to focus on the positives.

    If at any time on your pregnancy journey you are feeling extremely anxious or stressed, talk to your GP.

    You’ve read advice on:

    Why pregnancy can be stressful

    Handling stress during pregnancy

    Key causes of stress during pregnancy

    See the pregnancy checklist