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Stress During Pregnancy as a Miscarriage Cause

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Updated April 29, 2014

Stress During Pregnancy

Some level of stress during pregnancy is normal, but at what point does it become a problem?

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Depending on whom you ask, stress during pregnancy is either a proven risk factor for miscarriage and stillbirth or it's an outright myth that stress has any relation to pregnancy loss. The truth is somewhere in the middle.

Current Status

Old wives' tales have long linked bad moods during pregnancy to strange consequences, but the idea that stress during pregnancy would affect the baby may be rooted in actual science. Dozens of studies have found a link between high levels of stress during pregnancy and risk for outcomes ranging from miscarriage to health and learning problems in the child, but researchers don't quite agree on what the results mean.

Background

It's very hard to consider stress as a factor in pregnancy loss. Basically, everyone feels some level of stress in day to day life. It seems to be a part of the human condition. And every person processes that stress differently. A minor irritation to one person might be the cause of a nervous breakdown in another.

In pregnancy, this is also true. Every pregnant woman worries at least a little bit during the pregnancy, whether it's about the pregnancy or about other life factors. Some worry a lot. This has most likely been going on since the beginning of time, and yet the majority of pregnant women give birth to healthy babies.

When you start talking about stress as a factor in pregnancy loss, it's easy to look back and conclude that you had a miscarriage because you were too stressed out -- which can lead to self blame, especially in unexplained miscarriages. It's even easier for other people to do this and to imply that you would never have miscarried you had just remembered to "relax and let things happen." This, of course, leads to additional stress in worrying about how to stop worrying.

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  1. About.com
  2. Health
  3. Miscarriage / Pregnancy Loss
  4. Risk Factors
  5. Can Stress During Pregnancy Cause a Miscarriage?

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