Stress during pregnancy

It is well known that extreme stress has a particularly negative effect on the body and can thus lead to illness and degeneration. Nowadays we live in an extremely stressful time. We are constantly worried about, for example, our finances, our relationships and our security.

Autor: Dr. med. W. Tönnes

Hormonal changes during pregnancy

Pregnancy itself is also a stressful time for a woman’s body. The normal physical and hormonal changes alone can be quite intense. In addition, many American women work as long as possible during their pregnancy so that they can then extend their maternity leave after the birth.


Risk of miscarriage due to stress during pregnancy

Extreme stress during pregnancy can have some serious effects on the health of the unborn child. These include premature onset of labour, increased risk of miscarriage or an underweight baby. Prenatal stress also carries the risk of giving birth to an asthmatic or allergic baby.

Harvard Medical School in Boston recently presented its latest research findings in this regard. This was a study in which 387 pregnant women were asked about the following topics: financial situation, health situation, relationship, home environment and general safety.

In addition, possible exposure to house dust mites in their home was investigated. The effect on the foetus was investigated by taking blood from the umbilical cord of the babies at birth. Immunoglobulin E (IgE) levels were calculated to determine the extent to which the stress during pregnancy affected the development of the babies’ immune systems. IgE is a component (antibody) of the immune system that is involved in allergic and asthmatic reactions.


Asthma and allergies caused by stress during pregnancy

The study showed that the babies whose mothers were exposed to extreme stress had significantly more IgE in their blood than the babies of mothers with normal stress levels. This indicates that these babies are more likely to develop asthma or allergies.

It is assumed that stress makes the cells more permeable, i.e. weakens them, and they are then more susceptible to allergens, so that even low concentrations of an allergen can lead to an allergy. In addition, stress generally weakens the immune system, making babies more susceptible to illness and, as a result, the little body is also less able to deal with allergens.

Here are some tips for reducing stress:

  • Make sure you eat a healthy, varied nutrition.
  • Drink at least 2 litres of good spring water a day
  • Avoid nicotine and alcohol
  • Supplement your food with high-quality food supplements
  • Make sure you get enough sleep and rest
  • Try to relax as often as possible
  • Think positively
  • Get moving! Yoga or other light forms of exercise are ideal
  • Look forward to your baby
  • Avoid unpleasant people and situations


Note on health topics

This information is provided in good faith. It is intended exclusively for interested parties and for further education and is in no way to be understood as diagnostic or therapeutic instructions. We accept no liability for damages of any kind arising directly or indirectly from the use of the information. In case of suspected illnesses, please consult your doctor.


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