Study shows that stress may lead to stillbirth

During pregnancy, expectant mothers have several concerns with their unborn children as well as their own bodies. Fetal development is at the top of the list, and one factor that's known for negatively impacting the health of babies-to-be is stress. Now, a new study shows that anxiety may play a larger role in pregnancy than originally thought.

Research from the National Institutes of Health now notes that stressful events during the pregnancy calendar may increase a woman's risk of having a stillbirth. The experts surveyed 2,000 women who had gone through pregnancy for their study. They found that 83 percent of those who had stillbirths had experienced one intensely stressful incident while expecting.

"We documented how significant stressors are highly prevalent in pregnant women's lives," said Marian Willinger, Ph.D., study co-author. "This reinforces the need for healthcare providers to ask expectant mothers about what is going on in their lives, monitor stressful life events and to offer support as part of prenatal care."

The risk of stillbirth seemed highest for those who had been in a fight, had a partner go to jail or had a partner who expressed dislike for the baby-to-be.

Keeping stress at bay
It's no secret that pregnancy comes with its fair share of life changes, which have the potential to cause stress. However, there are a few ways that moms-to-be can eliminate anxiety. One is to ask for assistance whenever necessary to make daily activities more manageable. Another is to take a few moments each day to relax and unwind. A medical expert may be able to provide further advice to individuals on how to limit anxiety.

How have you managed the stress of pregnancy? Do you have any tips for relaxing? Leave your feedback in the comments section!