Dear Pregnant Working Mom: Too Much Stress Isn’t Good for You and Your Child

woman at office desk sleeping

Putting in long hours, finishing projects, and attending work meetings can be stressful enough when you’re not pregnant. But now that you are expecting, work stress levels can skyrocket. Combine work-related worries with the apprehension you might feel about having a child, and you’ve got yourself a recipe for work stress during pregnancy.

So should you worry about your stress’s impact on your child? Is it time to regularly visit your doctor for ultrasound services just to check?

The Working Mother’s Stress and Her Baby

The impact of a pregnant mother’s stress on her unborn child remains debatable. Some experts believe that prolonged episodes of severe stress (e.g., losing a job, death in the family, etc.) can negatively impact the pregnancy, causing complications such as low birth weight, preterm birth, and hampered brain development.

But will a rough office meeting or harsh deadline pose similar risks? Probably not.

The expectant mother tends to suffer more than her baby. Chronic stress can cause a number of physical symptoms such as digestive issues, sleep problems, muscle tension, headaches, and high blood pressure. When you are pregnant, stress is a natural occurrence that can also be heightened by emotions due to the hormonal changes.

Instead of allowing stress to takes its toll on your health, as well as your child’s, it’s best to learn effective stress management.

Reducing Stress During Pregnancy

Focus on Your Child

It is better for you and your baby if you can relax, so you need not feel guilty about taking some time off. Whenever you get the chance, stop what you are doing for a while and focus on your baby.

From about 18 weeks, your baby can hear your voice, so try talking, reading, and singing to your bump. It’s an amazing way to bond with your unborn child. This may also help you feel more positive about your pregnancy journey.

Stressed businesswomanGet Enough Rest

Listen to your body. If you feel tired, set aside all work-related concerns and take a break or a quick nap. Also, go to bed early. Sleep is important for anyone’s mental well-being and it supports a healthier pregnancy.

Eat Well

Eat regular meals so your blood sugar doesn’t drop, which can leave you feeling irritable and tired. When you are busy with work, eating on time proves a challenge. Pregnancy sickness can also keep you from eating healthily. But if you can make small changes, you’ll feel better for it.

Talk with Your Employer

Be upfront to your employer with your concerns regarding your work and your pregnancy — whether you are worried about being laid off, unnecessary deadlines, or being left out of the loop while you are on leave.

Also, give yourself peace of mind by getting a clearer sense of your benefits during your maternity leave. Ask your employer to provide a written account of the information for your security. This will also enable you to plan and budget accordingly, which can relieve you from financial and other work-related worries.

Just because you are a working mother, it doesn’t mean you cannot take a break from work. High stress levels are not healthy for anyone — pregnant or not. Don’t forget to rest now and then so you can enjoy your journey with your baby.