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

Some stress in pregnancy is normal and usual, but chronic (continual) stress can sometimes affect the way an unborn baby grows and develops.

However, some stress in pregnancy is usual and not harmful. This risk of problems only increases when the stress becomes constant and severe, you feel like you are not in control of any problems you may have in your life and you do not receive help for it.

Even with chronic severe stress, an impact on the baby is not inevitable. It is important to get help to reduce stress levels. Looking at your sources of stress and talking them through, either with a midwife, friend, family member, colleague or health professional can help you to cope. 

For specific worries, such as money, housing, relationships there are local and national organisations that may be able to help you too.  See our list here. Have a look at our ideas for coping with stress and top tips for looking after your emotional wellbeing.

Read more about anxiety and pregnancy here.

Read about when and where to get help and support

Other resources


  1. 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 February 1st, 2015. Next review date February 1st, 2018.

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