Reducing Stress and Anxiety During Pregnancy
Abstract: The perinatal period is the most crucial phase of life for both the parent and the fetus. The physiological changes that occur during stress and anxiety are rooted in the activation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. The dysregulation of the HPA axis adversely affects fetal growth as well as development and birth weight during the gestation period. Reducing stress during pregnancy will benefit the mother and minimize potential adverse postnatal outcomes. There are various techniques to aid in reducing stress and anxiety as well as ease the distress experienced during pregnancy.
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The International Childbirth Education Association (ICEA) is a professional organization that supports educators and health care professionals who believe in freedom to make decisions based on knowledge of alternatives in family-centered maternity and newborn care.