Reducing Stress and Anxiety During Pregnancy

by Emma J. Brooks, MS PhDc and Debra Rose Wilson, PhD MSN RN IBCLC AHN-BC CHT

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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