Stress During Pregnancy – So Much The Unborn Baby Also Suffers From It

Stress during pregnancy does not mean anything good. Neither for you, nor for the pregnancy development or the health of the baby.

Numerous scientific studies prove the striking influence stress has on pregnancy development. Therefore, women with a baby in the belly should maintain as relaxed a lifestyle as possible.

At the same time, the individually perceived stress level can vary. Stress cannot simply be switched off. Rather, the emotions associated with it are sometimes transmitted directly to people in the immediate social environment.

Today, we know that even unborn babies can sense when their mothers are experiencing stress, pressure, fear or uncertainty.

Stress In Pregnancy – Then As Now

Stress in pregnancy can be caused by different factors. Joy, anger, insecurity, but also excitement, sadness and the feeling of fear trigger something in the mother’s body and do not pass by without leaving a trace, especially on the unborn baby.

Here, however, prenatal stress must be distinguished from ordinary stress as a cause. Thus, it is not uncommon that the pregnant woman is very worried about the birth and downright afraid of it.

The fear that complications will occur, but also the fear of the new – of life with child – as well as existential fears or sometimes even relationship problems can be stress factors for expectant mothers.

Researchers have found that some of the stress felt by the pregnant woman is transmitted directly to the child in the womb. Many expectant mothers are not aware that the little border in their womb can adjust to its later environment at an early stage.

For example, fetuses are not only able to see and taste. They can even hear and feel – before they have even seen the light of day! So the old wisdom is no accident: Happy pregnant women give birth to happy babies.

What Happens In The Mother-To-Be’s Body During Stressful Periods Of Life?

Being under short-term stress – even with a baby in the womb – is not dangerous, nor does it have adverse health effects on the unborn.

However, experiencing continuous stress, for whatever reason, can be associated with psychological discomfort in the long term, as well as significant health complaints, if nothing else.

These processes take place in the human body during stress:

  • The body releases more adrenaline, cortisol and noradrenaline.
  • The heart beats faster.
  • Blood pressure rises.
  • Breathing becomes shallower.
  • Performance increases.
  • The ability to concentrate works at full speed.
  • Various processes in the body are slowed down in order to focus energy on coping with the stressful situation.
Also interesting:
Linea Negra: This Is Behind The Skin Changes On The Pregnancy Belly

During stress in pregnancy, digestive processes are also throttled, among other things. This means that relevant nutrients supplied to the body from food are only partially metabolized or not metabolized at all.

This can have devastating consequences for the unborn child. If the mother’s nutrient intake is reduced due to stress, the little body can no longer be adequately supplied.

This has a lasting effect on pregnancy development. In addition, the intestinal flora could be affected. This is of central importance with regard to the functionality and activity of the immune system.

Only a healthy intestinal flora can protect the body from invading germs, bacteria and other pathogens. Some diseases can cause immense damage to the fetus.


Stress during pregnancy can, in some cases, cause the pregnant woman’s physical awareness to be impaired.

Possible emerging health or psychological problems are accordingly sometimes overlooked. With the consequence that these are not treated and can thus cause consequential damage to the unborn child.

Stress With Baby In The Belly – A Memorable Study

In order to understand how stress during pregnancy can affect the unborn child, scientists at a Finnish university took an explicit look at the subject.

They wanted to find out how much a fetus is exposed to from the outside world – and how these influences affect the child’s brain.

Pregnant women of various ages took part in the study and were divided into three different categories. In the first group, the researchers sprinkled the participants, and thus also their unborn children, with soft musical sounds.

During the last trimester of pregnancy, they were played a certain melody two to five times a week. The researchers played a song with alternating melodies to the women in group 2.

The participants in the third group, however, were not played any music. One and a half years after the birth of the children, their brain activity was examined.

Meanwhile, they were allowed to listen once again to the musical sounds that had been played to them while they were still in their mother’s womb. The results were impressive.

It was found that the children who were played the same melody over and over again showed significantly more intensive brain activity. Conversely, the researchers concluded that not only positive influences but also stress and other negative factors have a direct influence on the brain activity of unborn children.

Also interesting:
Symphysis - That Is Where The Pain In The Pelvis During Pregnancy Comes From

In the 1970s, it became known that the risk of miscarriage is very high in pregnant women who are under stress in both their private and professional lives. In addition, newborns have been found to have an increased susceptibility to allergies and infections.

In addition, “stressed” infants are smaller and often have lower body weights compared to mothers who did not experience stress during pregnancy. Some children even showed motor behavior problems, following studies from the 1930s.

On top of that, some of the children studied were more prone to depression in adulthood.

Stress During Pregnancy: The Consequences For Mother And Child

There are studies that prove that stress or frequent crying during pregnancy is not only stressful for the expectant mother, but that the unborn child also suffers.

At the same time, it is a fact that the true extent of prenatal stress has still not been fully researched. Experts agree that there is a de facto increased risk of premature birth or miscarriage.

Also, certain medical conditions suffered by the child in adolescence or adulthood can be traced back to stress in the womb.

A significant role in this regard is played not only by the increased adrenaline output, which is directly linked to the perception of stress. The fact that the expectant mother’s body secretes cortisol is also relevant here.

Of the cortisol, more than 10 percent reaches the brain of the fetus. The renowned neurologist Matthias Schwab from the University Hospital in Jena, Germany, found that even a small amount of stress is sufficient to trigger poorer performance and concentration in school-age children.

He also suspects that the risk of developing attention deficit disorder (ADD) is higher. The increased release of cortisol can also have an effect on the physical and psychological development of the child.

This was also the conclusion reached by British scientist Vivette Glover and her team. The researchers were able to demonstrate that as a result of the increased cortisol level, clear.

Deficits in language development and the ability to solve problems. Accordingly, the following diseases or health sequelae can also be triggered by stress during pregnancy:

  • Depression or depressive moods.
  • Arteriosclerosis.
  • Breast cancer.
  • Overweight or underweight.
  • Diseases of the cardiovascular system.
Also interesting:
High Blood Pressure During Pregnancy: What Helps?

The Three Types Of Stress During Pregnancy

Basically, there are three types of stress:


Distress is considered negative because stress sufferers in this category sometimes feel completely overloaded. They have the feeling that they can no longer cope with their tasks due to stress.

They feel helpless, blocked, and powerless. Short-term distress phases are not harmful to the child. Nevertheless, in such a stressful time, you should make sure to include islands of calm in your daily routine so as not to endanger your unborn child.

2) Neutral Stress

To a certain extent, neutral stress also has negative connotations. However, those affected do not feel overwhelmed or helpless in the corresponding situations.

They are able to reflect on what is going on and what steps need to be taken to cope with the stressful situation.

The neutral stress situation poses no real danger to the fetus, either in the short or long term.


Eustress is a short-term stress situation that can be negative or positive.

The moments of stress are perceived as stimulating, motivating and performance-enhancing.


Experts believe that mild stress during pregnancy has no negative impact on pregnancy development. There is even a popular opinion that a low level of stress is healthy for the baby in the womb.

Mental and motor skills would be enhanced by mild stress or crying during pregnancy. On the other hand, it is worth mentioning in this regard that there is no scientific evidence for these findings yet.

In general, therefore, things that are good for the expectant mother cannot be detrimental to the child either. Not to mention, it will hardly ever be 100 percent possible to avoid stress during pregnancy in order to make pregnancy development as good as possible.

Every now and then you will certainly cry during pregnancy. If only because of the hormonal fluctuations that are now occurring in your body.

The more you try to avoid crying during pregnancy or stress in general during pregnancy, the more likely you are to put yourself – and also your baby in your belly – under pressure.

This Is How You Can Best Protect Your Baby In Your Belly

As an expectant mother, you should protect your baby in the belly from negative influences of any kind from the first week of pregnancy until the 12th week of pregnancy. This is the only way to ensure an ideal pregnancy development.

Also interesting:
Itching During Pregnancy: Good Home Remedies

If you want to prevent stress during pregnancy and protect your baby in the belly against all possible stress factors, you can first try to direct your thoughts.

Dr. Gerald Hüther, renowned brain researcher and neurologist, once said that 80 percent of the thoughts that people think are negative. A statement, about which one should indeed think once in all peace – without stress.

Conversely, this means that only 20 percent of the thoughts that people think every day are positive. Almost 92 percent of the negative thoughts that could cause stress do not even occur.

In this respect, this statement by Mr. Hüther is not only extremely memorable, but it is also extremely relaxing. In other words, you can confidently throw a large part of all the thoughts, worries, and fears you have overboard.

For the sake of your baby in the belly, it is worthwhile to rethink and try to relax or to steer your own thoughts – that’s about 62,000 thoughts per day (!) – in a positive direction.

You can train this. The more intensively you deal with this statement, the easier it will be for you to steer the pregnancy development in a positive direction. Your baby in the belly will certainly benefit from this!

Steer The Pregnancy Development – Until The 12th SSW Belly

Stress can have a lasting effect on pregnancy development. The higher the stress level, the higher the risk of bleeding during pregnancy.

Extreme caution should be taken with bleeding during pregnancy, as it can lead to premature birth or miscarriage in the worst case scenario. In addition to a positive mindset, use breathing techniques if possible.

If certain things annoy or upset you, for example, count slowly to 10 and then back again from 10 to 1. At each number, breathe in and out very slowly.

Breathing should ideally go deep into the belly, not just to the chest area! This method is also beneficial for your baby in the belly.

PreventBleeding During Pregnancy

You yourself have it largely in hand to positively influence pregnancy development. A good, life-affirming attitude and willingness to communicate can be a good step in the right direction to ensure a healthy pregnancy development.

Take care of yourself and your baby and trust that everything will be okay. With this attitude, you can largely prevent stress during pregnancy and consequently support a promising pregnancy development.


The best products for you and your baby.

Baby monitor

With a baby monitor, you can use your time flexibly, sleep peacefully at night and still know at all times that your baby is doing well.

Nursing pillow

A good breastfeeding pillow has several advantages, because it helps you not only to breastfeed, but also to fall asleep and is also suitable as a nest.

Diaper bags

A diaper bag offers you a lot of storage space, so that you have everything you need for your baby on the go - from the changing pad to the bottle.


A pucksack gives your baby the feeling of security, like in the womb, and thus supports a peaceful and restful sleep.

Bicycle trailer

Bicycle trailers can be used in combination with a baby seat shortly after birth. They are not only safer than child seats but also more comfortable.


A playpen can be very practical in everyday life! Which model is suitable for your needs, you can read in my guide.

Baby bed

The first bed accompanies your child for years. Fortunately, there are beds that grow with your child. I have made for you on the search for the best baby beds.


A stroller is a worthwhile purchase. But there are the most diverse models on the market. Find out which is the right one.

Radiant heater

Radiant heaters provide your child with the necessary warmth when changing diapers or after bathing.

Extra bed

Side beds are very practical and offer both mother and baby a lot of advantages, because for babies, especially in the first months of life, it is reassuring to be able to sleep next to their parents.

2 thoughts on “Stress During Pregnancy – So Much The Unborn Baby Also Suffers From It”

Leave a Comment