New Information about Anxiety and Pregnancy

Posted on Mar 21, 2013 | Pregnancy Symptoms Category | | Print This Article

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Simply being pregnancy can cause you a serious amount of anxiety, even if it’s a planned pregnancy. Your body is going through so many changes during pregnancy. Not only that, your family and relationship status is about to change forever. Throw in the fluctuating hormone levels and you have a recipe for instant anxiety.

One of the biggest concerns about pregnancy and anxiety in the past is the potential for anxiety to cause trouble with your pregnancy. Unfortunately, this is a problem that’s self-sustaining. You worry that you’re harming your baby by worrying, and so you worry even more.

Fortunately, according to the latest research, anxiety may not harm your pregnancy.

Here’s what we really know about anxiety and pregnancy:

  • Moderate amounts of stress and anxiety don’t negatively impact pregnancy. That means you can let go of those worries from rumors you’ve heard about anxiety causing premature delivery or miscarriage, as well as developmental delays. Some studies have shown that a mild amount of maternal stress during pregnancy may actually help your baby mature faster. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get help for your anxiety, it just means it’s not likely to impact your pregnancy.
  • Moderate anxiety doesn’t seem to impact fertility, either. A 2011 British study looked at women going through in vitro fertilization and assessed their anxiety and depression. In the research involving more than 3,500 women, anxiety had no impact on whether or not the IVF treatments were successful.
  • There is some research that suggests a correlation (not a causal relationship) between stress and earlier birth. However, it’s important to note the actual details of this correlation. The women who reported high levels of stress in a Danish study involving 78,000 women gave birth an average of two days earlier than women with low stress scores. Two days early is still considered full term, and so this isn’t really something that should be too concerning.

If you’re experiencing anxiety during pregnancy, it’s important to ask for help. If left untreated, anxiety can cause health problems for you and stress on your family, even after your baby arrives.

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