You may be pregnant and happy, but life goes on: you might still be working full time, as well as running a home, and you're bound to have stressful days and times when you feel you can't cope. And, of course, you're still contending with those challenging pregnancy hormones that can cause some emotional ups and downs.
Like many women, you may become stressed about the big changes that are going to happen, and worry about factors such as finances, whether you'll be a good mother, and how your relationship will change. It's important to keep worries in perspective and maintain an emotional balance because being stressed isn't good for your health or that of your baby.
Find ways to destress, as well as talking to others--your partner, friends, and doctor--about any concerns.
A mother's stress can be transmitted to the fetus.
The level of the stress hormone cortisol in the amniotic fluid matches that in the mother's blood. Cortisol is thought to adversely affect fetal development.
Learn to recognize the signs that you're stressed: you may feel your heart racing or a rise in your body temperature. When you know you're stressed, take action.
Excerpted from Pregnancy Day by Day.
Copyright © 2008 Dorling Kindersley Limited.
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