Emotions and Stress



Why can trying to become pregnant be stressful?

Why should I avoid stress when I'm trying to get pregnant?

How can I learn to reduce stress while I'm trying to get pregnant?



Why can trying to become pregnant be stressful?

Worrying about whether or when you will conceive, what being pregnant will mean to you and your relationship, and all the steps you will want to take to increase the chance of a healthy pregnancy and healthy baby, can sometimes create stress and anxiety.

Why should I avoid stress when I'm trying to get pregnant?

There is no hard evidence to suggest that stress can prevent you from becoming pregnant. However, stress can depress your immune system, raise your blood pressure and alter your hormonal function. Also, it can prevent you and your partner from enjoying this time of anticipation and pleasure.

How can I learn to reduce stress while I'm trying to get pregnant?

To learn to relax, we recommend that you first try to:
  • Identify the causes of stress in your life: your long commute, your finances, family relationships
  • Simplify your life: reduce contact with people and cut out activities that sap your energy and time
  • Clarify your priorities: learn to say "no", decide what is really important and what can be addressed later
  • Ask for help: turn to family, friends, or a counselor

To help you cope with the stresses in your life that you can't avoid, we recommend:
  • Exercising has been proven to be a true reliever of stress. It helps to release tension and lift your mood. Physical activities such as nature walks or yoga can calm and relax you.
  • Meditating triggers a relaxation response as it decreases your respiratory rate, heart rate, and blood pressure, and relieves muscle tension. It has also been shown to cause a drop in the stress hormones in your blood. Some women feel that meditation is as restful as a nap.
  • Journaling, the act of writing out your thoughts and concerns, can help prevent you from dwelling on anxieties.
  • Creating a calm atmosphere by using essential oils for aromatherapy, listening to quiet music, and dimming the lights can help you feel very peaceful.
  • Getting adequate sleep keeps you from becoming tired and less able to deal with the fast-pace of modern life. Try to avoid turning to food or caffeine to fight fatigue. You will need your rest more than ever when you are pregnant and after the baby comes, so now is the time to develop good sleep patterns.
  • Most recent page update: 10/26/2012


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