How do Nerves Affect Pregnancy

By Max. D Gray. Updated: January 16, 2017
How do Nerves Affect Pregnancy

Emotions have the power to affect our health directly. If you are pregnant and are going through a difficult time emotionally, you're probably worried about how nerves and stress can affect your baby. Before adding yet another problem to your growing pile, it is essential that you try to seek help and solutions to stay calm.

Medical research has studied the effects of nerves and negative emotions during pregnancy. These have shown that chronic stress, depression and nerves cause negative side effects during pregnancy and affect the fetus. In this OneHowTo article you'll find details of the most significant consequences of stress during this period so you fully understand how nerves affect pregnancy.

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Nerves affect pregnancy by increasing the possibility of premature birth. This is because during a crisis or prolonged episode of nerves, the body releases more cortisol, the substance responsible for activating stress in the body. Too much of this substance during pregnancy is also associated with birth complications and low birth weight baby. However, in most studies, women who had high cortisol levels did not experience premature labour.


The possibility of a spontaneous abortion has also been linked to the way that nerves affect pregnancy. Studies show that, when a woman is in the first weeks of pregnancy and goes through a difficult time in her life such as the death of a family member, the likelihood of abortion increases. The University of Michigan studied this condition and showed that the body reacts to high cortisol levels, creating a sense of alarm as an indication that the body is not in the right condition to carry a baby.


Nerves also affect pregnancy by causing possible problems in the intellectual development of the baby. Everything we do during pregnancy can affect the future health, development and capabilities of our child. Excess cortisol is no exception. Canadian research found that, of all children that were studied, those with language problems had mothers who had suffered nervous breakdowns or stress during pregnancy.

How do Nerves Affect Pregnancy - Step 3

Emotional and behavioural problems in the child may also be considered a way in which nerves affect pregnancy. Research has shown that there is a close relationship between suffering from nerves during pregnancy and children that are hyperactive or have attention problems. It has also been found that, when a mother has a quiet and emotionally healthy pregnancy, the new-born baby sleeps for longer and is less irritable.


Feeling stressed and nervous is very common in early pregnancy, especially if it is the first. However, when a major event triggers nervousness during pregnancy, going to see a specialist is advisable. They can help to relieve anxiety and calm the nervous state.

There are certain activities that can help you relieve anxiety and feel better during your pregnancy, such as yoga. Practising this sport will not only help you in your flexibility, but it will also serve as a way to cool down and relieve all the stress and anxiety in your body.

How do Nerves Affect Pregnancy - Step 5

If, after talking to your doctor, you have not found a solution to your nerves, visiting a psychologist or seeking emotional support is recommended. Letting off steam, talking about how you feel, expressing your fears, distracting yourself and facing the most difficult moments in a positive way is helpful to calm nerves and prevent them from affecting your pregnancy or the health of your baby.

This article is merely informative, oneHOWTO does not have the authority to prescribe any medical treatments or create a diagnosis. We invite you to visit your doctor if you have any type of condition or pain.

If you want to read similar articles to How do Nerves Affect Pregnancy, we recommend you visit our Family health category.

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