Fact or Fiction: Stressful Pregnancy

Staff

4 Min Quiz

Image: refer to hsw

About This Quiz

Pregnant women tend to focus mostly on things like eating and exercise, but your emotional and mental state can also influence your baby. Take the quiz to find out why.

Stress is bad news, whether you’re pregnant or not, no matter what.

A little stress can actually be a good thing; it motivates us to get off our rears and do something different. This goes for when you’re pregnant, too.

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It can be difficult to figure out whether you have symptoms of stress when you’re pregnant.

Many of the symptoms of stress, like sleeplessness, fatigue and irritability, are normal for pregnant women. So it can be tough to determine that they’re due to stress and not just pregnancy craziness.

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Your OB/GYN is only there to handle the physical symptoms of pregnancy.

You should feel free to discuss your feelings, stressors and other emotional issues with your doctor because everything’s related. If you're not, then consider seeing a therapist -- or finding a new doctor.

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Lowered levels of the corticotropin-releasing hormone can lead to miscarriages.

This hormone actually rises when you’re really stressed out, but these elevated levels can cause numerous problems during pregnancy, including pre-term birth.

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If you’re having a tough time getting pregnant, advice like "just relax and have fun" is helpful.

The link between infertility and stress may be a vicious cycle (dealing with infertility is stressful, but does stress cause infertility?), but sometimes, well-intentioned advice does more harm than good.

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The more stressed you are early in your pregnancy, the more likely it is that the stress will negatively impact your baby.

Studies show that elevated levels of stress hormones, especially in women during their first trimester or before conception, may impact fertility or even the viability of the pregnancy.

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Your body can be so stressed from pregnancy that it decides to “turn” on the baby and act as if it's an allergen.

While there are cases in which the body rejects the fetus as a foreign body, it’s not usually related to stress (although stress can induce an allergic reaction).

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If your baby is born very small, then he’s probably going to experience a lot of health problems.

Sometimes, babies are just tiny and otherwise healthy; other times, they’re smaller than average because they didn’t get enough nutrition while in the womb, due to stress or something else.

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If high-stress situations are unavoidable for you, there isn’t too much you can do other than hope that your pregnancy will turn out OK.

Your doctor can help you come up with healthy ways to handle stress, which may include seeing a therapist.

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When you’re pregnant and stressed, it's fine to have a few drinks to calm yourself down and relax.

Some doctors say that a little alcohol is OK during pregnancy, but there’s no way to determine what is a safe amount. Before you decide to have a glass of wine, talk to your doctor.

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If you have a baby with low birth weight, it’s probably because you didn’t eat enough while you were pregnant.

While what you put in your mouth directly affects your baby’s growth, blood vessel constriction due to stress hormones can also cause growth restriction.

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Uterine infections are in the same class as a yeast infection in terms of severity, and they have nothing to do with stress.

When stress weakens your immune system, it also leaves you susceptible to uterine infections, which can be very serious (and fatal, in some cases).

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Unless you’re lifting heavy things or standing all day, it’s not likely that your job can cause enough stress to impact your pregnancy.

Everybody deals with stress differently, so even normal job stresses can cause some pregnant women problems -- although the most severe symptoms are linked to extreme stress.

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A mother who has PTSD while pregnant has a high risk of passing the disorder on to her baby.

It may seem impossible, but some studies have shown that this extremely stressful anxiety disorder can cause chemical changes in your baby’s brain.

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As long as your baby is physically nourished and cared for in the womb, your emotional state during pregnancy doesn’t matter.

Researchers used to think that it was all in the genes, but now they know that the experiences you have during pregnancy can affect the mental well-being of each child.

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Getting lots of sleep when you’re pregnant can help lower your stress levels.

Pregnant women are generally very tired in the first trimester, so get as much sleep as possible then, as well as throughout your pregnancy.

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Starting high-impact cardiovascular exercise, like running, is great for reducing stress in pregnant women.

It’s important to consult with your doctor about any kind of exercise while pregnant. Plus, some forms of exercise -- such as intense cardio -- may increase levels of stress hormones.

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Being pregnant itself is stressful, so if you can take time off from work on occasion to rest and relax, go for it.

You may feel pressure to “do it all," but time off while pregnant may be necessary to reduce your stress levels and take care of yourself.

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There’s no point in discussing your feelings of stress with your partner, because he or she can’t understand what you’re going through.

Talking to a person who cares about your well-being and that of your baby can only help you reduce your stress levels.

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Experiencing a catastrophic event while pregnant can result in stress-related problems during pregnancy and childbirth.

A study of pregnant women who had worked within a few miles of the World Trade Center during the attacks on 9/11 showed that they had smaller babies and gave birth earlier than women who were farther from the site.

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