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Coping With Stress When You're Pregnant

pregnant woman sitting on floor leaning back



It’s normal to feel some stress during pregnancy - it’s an exciting time.  

But too much stress can be unhealthy for you and your baby. 

To help keep your stress levels manageable:

  • talk with a professional or someone you trust
  • learn to say ‘no’ to extra responsibilities
  • make time for yourself every day 
  • be physically active every day
  • get enough sleep and eat healthy foods
  • practice relaxation breathing
  • plan ahead, including maternity leave
  • prepare your other children for the new baby
  • arrange for help in your home once the baby is born
  • go to prenatal classes to learn about pregnancy, birth, and parenting

Partners, friends and family members can help, too. Here are some tips for support people:

  • Listen to the expectant mom’s concerns and try to understand - even if you don’t have a solution to the problem.
  • Ask what you can do to help.
  • Talk about your own worries and concerns.
  • Discuss potentially stressful issues, like the management of finances, to help get them out in the open.
  • Join a prenatal class together to learn about becoming parents.
  • Create your birth plan together.
  • Talk about maternity and paternity leaves.
  • Laugh together


When trying to manage stress ask yourself:

  • What are my top two de-stressing activities? 
  • How can I fit those two (or more) activities into my life?

Talk it Out

If you have a sudden crisis, such as the death of a loved one, loss of a job, or move to a new home, talk with someone you trust. This could be a friend, your partner, or someone from your personal support team. For advice about seeking professional help, talk to your health care provider or a public health nurse, or call HealthLink BC at 8-1-1.

Last Updated: August 3, 2013