3 Dangers Of Stress During Pregnancy

Even though it isn’t certain exactly how much stress is too much, it is also important to take note that a high chronic stress level might have an effect on your pregnancy. Stress is a familiar part of women’s life. From getting up early to prepare the kids for school every day, taking care of themselves, to rushing home after work to make dinner, all these increases their stress level, one way or the other.

Pregnancy in itself is a stressful time on a woman’s body. The normal physical and hormonal changes can be quite daunting for a first time mom. In this day and age we live in incredibly stressful times. We worry about things close to home like our finances, our jobs, our bosses, our relationships with those close to us as well as our safety and security as a nation.

All these things pile up in our thoughts, and we keep thinking about them, over and over again. But the reality is that if you don’t handle stress during pregnancy, it might have some severe consequences on the health your unborn baby and also on you as a mother. Here are some of the risks of stress during pregnancy to watch out for:


There are a lot of different reasons why babies are born prematurely, but research has shown however, that most of the premature birth occur happen to mums that have high levels of stress while pregnant. The earlier a baby is born, the greater risk the child has of experiencing anything from minor breathing problems to lifelong diseases such as cerebral palsy. This is why pregnancy is meant to last up to about 40 weeks, because babies born before this do not usually have fully formed organs.

Miscarriage is the greatest nightmare for every pregnant woman. Just like the premature birth, there are a host of reasons why some women experience miscarriages and some time, there’s no actual medical explanation.
However, recent research has shown a link between miscarriage and high levels of stress, especially during the first trimester.
In the year 2003, researchers found out that CRH isn’t just released in the brains of highly stressed pregnant women; it’s also released elsewhere in the body. The CRH targets a type of cell called a mast cell, which secretes chemicals that cause allergic reactions. Apparently, one of these chemicals, tryptase, prevents the production of membranes to develop the embryo and disrupts the whole architecture of the placenta that feeds the baby.
Another study in the year 2006, showed that high levels of another stress hormone, cortisol, may affect levels of progesterone, which impacts uterine growth and other aspects of pregnancy. So, not only should you try to avoid chronic stress while pregnant, but you should also focus on it early in your pregnancy.

It is thought that stress weakens the body’s cells more and so it becomes more susceptible to allergens and that even low levels of exposure to an allergen could trigger a reaction. Stress also suppresses the immune system thereby making us more susceptible to sickness as well as being less able to deal with allergens.
People who are highly stressed are in a constant state of alert, but the burst of hormones like cortisol involved in the fight-or-flight response is supposed to be short-term. Chronic stress, however, can result in reduced numbers of cells that fight off viral and bacterial infections. The stress response can also cause the nervous system to secrete substances that bind to white blood cells (which defend the body from disease) and make them less effective. Pregnant women already have lowered immune systems, so stress has even more of an impact on them. This equals an increase in illnesses that your body would normally be able to fight off.

Premature birth, miscarriage and infection is definitely what no mother would want for themselves or for their baby’s. So taking out time to see a therapist about your stress issues isn’t really a waste of time. That simple act might save a life.

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