Handling extreme stress during pregnancy (success stories?)

posted 12 months ago in Pregnancy
Post # 2
937 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2016

I’m so sorry you are going through something so emotional during what should be happy time.

Let me list off my stressors with my pregnancy in late 2016/early 2017

1. 2nd year of new job teaching full time at university (completely new career. Lots pf prep and grading plus some office politics and student drama)

2. Started a master’s degree program that i needed in order to keep my job

3. Husband lost his job when I was 7 weeks pregnant

4. Seeing high risk dr in addition to regular dr bc of an antibody that could cause heartblock in baby

5. Low progesterone; took suppositorues (pessecarry?) & then injections 2x a week that made my behind extremly sore

6. Sister overdosed  (yet again) and entered rehab…extreme toll on my entire family

7. Extreme all day nausea until 19 weeks

8. Switched drs bc the first ones were a mess. Second one was too. High risk dr ended up not telling us stuff and mo one told me i needed more ultrasounds. Fpund put pnce i moved put of state and files transferred. 

9. husband got new job out of state. Tried to get our house ready, get rid of stuff and look for new house. Our house had abestos tile so had to have abatement done. I had to give notice and quit my job bc we were moving. HR was a mess

10. Moved out of state 7.5 months pregnant

12. My brother died unexpectedly and tragically when baby was 8 weeks old.


Definitely get a therapist. Try to focus on you…prental massage, etc. I felt so unprepared for baby but we took a private class (i.e. non hospital) that helped us feel so much more confident. We also took a newborn basics, cpr/first aid and breastfeeding class at our new hospital after we moved. Oh yea, we had only been married 2 months when we found out we were pregnant 🙃

Post # 3
60 posts
Worker bee

I’ve always hated when people tell pregnant people to not stress! I don’t think anyone in the world has ever chosen to be stressed. Death, financial issues, illnesses are a part of life and they don’t stop when you are pregnant. I can say I’ve seen many people have healthy full term babies (and no maternal complications) despite the deaths of a partner or child, losing their house, finishing school, and drug abuse. Are these things ideal? No, but somehow things seem to work out okay. I’m sure you’ve done googling, so I won’t go over correlations between stress and pregnancy. It is, however, worth it to mention to your doctor or midwife that you are under stress and explain the situation. They might do some education on signs/symptoms to watch out for just in case.  Just know that the majority of the time things go okay. No need to make yourself more stressed, by stressing about stressing 🙂 

That being said make sure you are following your doctors/midwife’s instructions on eating, exercising, and drinking plenty of water. Keep your appointments. Back and feet rubs, meditation, listening to music, even TV are all great ways to de-stress too. I think a lot of people neglect to take care of themselves when they are stressed, and that seems to be where a lot more issues come in. Take time for self care. 





Post # 4
5744 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: September 2016

I’m so sorry to hear about your family member and that you will have to be navigating this stressful time while also pregnant. Meditation is really (really really) helpful with managing stress in general but also during pregnancy. I don’t want to take the time to list all of what I was managing during my pregnancy, but I will say that meditation helped a lot. And continues to do so. Also, there have been some studies shown that have indicated that women who were at higher risk of premature labor and delivery, when given the tools to develop a meditation practice, were able to keep their babies in utero for longer than those who did not.

Also, it may sound cheesy but when I was training to be a doula, our teacher emphasized the importance of giving yourself and your baby regular oxytocin flushes by rubbing your belly, focusing on the baby and saying or thinking “I love you” or something else that makes you feel loving and connected. It sends a wave of oxcytocin to both of you and can help you maintain a sense of calm, lowers blood pressure and, if you have had your fight or flight response triggered, it can help you get back to center afterward.

Post # 5
1923 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2018

Oh man, I’m so sorry.  I know this may sound callous, but do you have to be involved / attend the trial at all?  If you don’t *have* to be there, I would skip it.  Stress really is bad for the fetus and I’m sure everyone would understand that you’re doing it for your child’s health!

Self-care like deep breathing, yoga, meditation (people seem to love the Headspace app!), and whatever else relaxes you would also be helpful.  And just trying to actively detach from any drama or stress associated with the trial.  Don’t talk to your family about it or read up about it any more than necessary (without being totally heartless of course), etc.

As for me, definitely nothing on that same level.  But I’m 6 months pregnant and this pregnancy (which is very much planned and wanted, but happened sooner than we really anticipated) is causing a lot of life upheaval for sure.  I found tenants for my house and moved out of it recently, I moved in with my partner, I’m probably going to lose my job because it’s pretty incompatible with having a small child, I may work part time here but maybe not, I will definitely lose my health insurance, and so we’re discussing eloping this summer.  I work in a very competitive field so unfortunately it’s tough to just start a new job right away.  We both travel a ton for work, so there’s less time to take care of all of this.  So, a lot going on.  I just try to keep forward momentum on what needs to happen, without getting bogged down in the details or worried about it not all coming together.  And do plenty of self-care.

Post # 6
3206 posts
Sugar bee

Hi there, I’m so sorry about your family member and the continued pain you’re going through with the trial. I hope it brings closure and peace. 

Regarding coping strategies, I am doing the hypnobabies program. It’s really hard to explain effectively, but I’ll try and why I think it might help you in your current situation. I’m not an instructor or affiliated with it in any way other than as a student and benefit of how it has affected me personally throughout my pregnancy journey. So, I’m just hoping that you’ll approach my explanation with an open mind. 

So, hypnosis is a pretty funny topic to discuss because people think it’s some kind of mind-control or hoax…but science is pretty firm on a few things. First, you can’t be made to do anything that you weren’t willing to do in the first place, you have to acquiesce to the suggestions. In hypnobabies, that means that you have to choose to believe in the suggestions that the program provides. Second, the program is based on the science of how your physiology and your mentality interact- basically, your mental state can and does affect your physiological state and therefore altering your mental state purposefully has the power to affect your physiological state (within boundaries). 

So, hypnobabies is really focused on changing the mental beliefs and resulting behaviors throughout pregnancy in order for the mom to feel more confident and relaxed- ideally enabling an easier or smoother pregnancy and birth. The suggestions (‘positive affirmations’) that the program asks you to commit to believing in span from pregancy all the way through birth and are designed to combat the negative, anxious, and fearful rhetoric and belief system that dominates pregnancy and childbirth in mondern society. The program also focuses heavily on giving parents skills to make informed decisions regarding their medical care and options throughout the process. 

You’re probably wondering why I even bring this up for your situation, I’ll get there, I promise!- My personal experience is that I entered the program kind of skeptical, but I knew that this type of self-training worked for me in the past and I thought ‘why not now? and what would be the harm?’. I used to hate working out/running…and I struggled significantly because my mental dialogue was negative towards the topic. When I started changing my mental conversation (going from ‘running sucks’ and ‘I can’t run faster/lift more’ to sweet-talking myself ‘I’m running for that hot body’ and ‘I’m lifting and I’m strong’), I got into the best shape of my adult life and started getting that mythical runner’s high (which is like self-hypnosis). So I had already proved to myself that changing some rather simple thought-processes had good effects. Hence, picking the program and committing fully. 

Why I suggest you look into it- you’re going to be inundated by negative imagery, emotions, and information as you go through the process of the trial and as you’re aware, it will have a negative impact on your mental state, and it’s also completely separate from the fear-mongering and self-doubt that is modern day pregnancy. I think that if you have a purposeful, structured way to introduce some measure of control, confidence, and serenity into your pregnancy that will benefit you immensely in insulating yourself (and your baby) from the chaos of the trial. From personal experience, even though the program is pregnancy focused, I’ve found that I’m much more serene and confident, and just have a more positive outlook generally outside of feeling great during pregnancy, since starting the program. 

I hope this gives you something to consider trying. Best of luck with everything!

Post # 7
9640 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2015

2nd meditation. It is immensely immensely helpful. It will feel weird at first but dont give up. Try to do just 10 minutes everyday for a week, and youll “get it”. I use the app Insight Timer. Try a guided meditation first (you listen to a voice instead of sitting there in silence). Its free, and its amazing, truly. Tons and tons of studies on this. 

Im very sorry for your loss. Take care.

Post # 8
9071 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2013

have you talked to your OB about this?  maybe there is something safe you can take? 

otherwise, breathing exercises, yoga, stay as uninvolved in you can in the details of the trial.

Post # 9
699 posts
Busy bee

I can only imagine how hard this has been for you and going through the trauma of someone being murdered. Awful. 

I think you will be just fine. I had a LOT of mental AND physical stress during my last pregnancy when we built a custom home. Lots of DIY, so much money and we lived in a TINY rent house. It was hard, but I survived and now I have a perfect 1 year old! 🙂

Just try to be as level headed as possible about it. And when the trial ends at the end of the day, try to leave it there. Go home and focus on that sweet baby and take your mind off of the trial. I have never been thought something like this so I can only imagine but this is the best advice I can think of. 


Post # 10
660 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2015

I’m really sorry that happened, and that you’ll have to re-live the experience at the trial. For starters, is it at all possible to either have someone come with you for support? Can you sit near an exit so you can walk out during the worst parts?

Baby will be OK though. They’ll be OK. There are things you can do to look out for them.

I’ve got plenty of experience with this, if it makes you feel any better. Two kids and another on the way. First pregnancy – natural disaster two weeks before my due date, I was running around the neighborhood doing damage control for work, and walking up and down nine flights of stairs in the dark to get home. Wasn’t even sure the hospital would be running as usual if I went into labor early. Second pregnancy – massive work stress, I’d been getting chest pains and begging my OB to write a note that I’m no longer fit to work (OB didn’t care). Both kids are fine. They were born on the small side, but gained weight like champs and caught up very well.

This time is the worst of all. My M.I.L. is dying. As if that wasn’t bad enough, D.H. is never home because he’s taking care of her, and when he is home… he’s so touchy the old me would be crying in a corner a lot. First trimester, I had migraine every single day and still had to work and solo parent. I’m so so tired physically and emotionally. Baby seems to be fine though, judging by the dance party she starts when I’m trying to sleep.

I guess what helps is removing myself emotionally, as much as I can. Things I’d normally worry about? Shrug and decide to deal with them later. Stay up late to pamper myself with my favorite books. Never let anything get between me and eating and drinking. If I can’t do something at work or at home, tell people no and not feel guilty. The stakes of going to pieces are too high. 

Post # 13
901 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

I’ve had two relatively stressful pregnancies.  While I was pregnant with my first, my father died unexpectedly after a short illness.  Watching him die and then living through the aftermath (needless to say my mother was a wreck, my sister and I were pretty shook as well) is just one of those things I look back on now and just think, how did I get through that without losing my shit?  But you just do.  I do remember specifically thinking to myself through out it all that I had to stay calm, baby needed me to stay calm so that’s what I did.  I think you will know what you need to do and do it when it comes to keeping yourself and baby healthy.  If the trial becomes too overwhelming and you can’t cope, you will remove yourself from it.  Hugs to you and best wishes. 

Post # 14
7692 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2010

I was remarried and newly pregnant when my ex husband ghosted and decided to not pay anything toward our co-owned house that we had not been able to sell yet (and was  under water on our mortgage). Because of that and other shady dealings on his part, I ended up having to declare bankruptcy and the house was forclosed on. It was SUPER FUN standing in front of a judge 8 months pregnant and explaining that I didn’t know why my ex husband decided to stop paying his bills. Anyway, that baby is now about to turn 7. It was a shitty time, but things are fine now and my almost 7 year old is awesome.

Post # 15
776 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2015

i was young pregnant at 16, at first i didnt know and i was extrmely sick and had just broken up with my ex. i didnt tell my parents until i was 6 months along and the father of the child was ignoring me. when my dad found out he didnt talk to me for two months until his older sister came to talk to him. it was the most depressing episode of my life. i didnt get medical attention until i told my mom and even after that i didnt go to the doctor until i was 8months again when my mom forced me. i cried costatly and felt alone at first because only my friends new and they couldnt help me.  yound and dumb is what i call that time now,

i had a very healthy baby girl, she is 10 now and im happily married and left that dead beat in the past. 


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