I'm stressed about everything. Will this effect my baby?

It’s natural to get a bit stressed in pregnancy. But if you feel like you can’t cope it’s important to ask for help.

Being concerned about whether anxiety  or stress will affect your baby is understandable, but it can also create a vicious cycle of thoughts. You may be feeling anxious during your pregnancy, then begin to worry if it this is affecting your baby and so become even more anxious.

It is very unlikely that your baby will be affected by stress or anxiety, if you get the right treatment and support. So try to focus on asking for help and finding ways to manage your symptoms.

There are several ways to get help and support for how you’re feeling. What you’re offered will depend on what your symptoms are and how bad they are, what’s available locally and what you and your healthcare professional think will help.

The first step is to talk to your midwife or doctor about how you’re feeling.

Some pregnant women feel distressed or guilty about feeling anxious or panicky when everyone expects them to be happy. Pregnancy can be a very emotional experience. Try to remember that your healthcare professionals won’t judge you for how you feel. Their focus will be on finding ways to help you stay well so you can take care of yourself and your baby.

Have a look at our ideas for coping with stress and top tips for looking after your emotional wellbeing.

For specific worries, such as money, housing, relationships there are local and national organisations that may be able to help you too. Ask your midwife or GP for details.

Managing mental health problems can be difficult when you’re pregnant. Try to be confident that you are doing everything you can to take care of your baby.

Read more about anxiety and pregnancy here.

Read about when and where to get help and support

Sources

Glover V (2015) Prenatal stress and its effects on the fetus and the child: possible underlying biological mechanisms. Advances in neurobiology 2015;10:269-83. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-1372-5_13

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Last reviewed on October 12th, 2018. Next review date October 12th, 2021.

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