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Stress and Pregnancy


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March of DimesWe at Robyn's Nest and the March of Dimes are very concerned about the stress levels that world events can cause pregnant women.

Women need to understand that the threats to our country can also be a threat to susceptible pregnant women. The stress could lead to early (preterm) labor.

Premature or preterm labor is when a women goes into labor three or more weeks before the due date. Because of what has been happening in our country, we want pregnant women to recognize that increased stress levels could cause labor to begin too early.

Stress and Pregnancy:

"Acute maternal stress, as a consequence of severe life events, has been suggested as a mechanism leading to preterm delivery since biblical times. Chronic maternal stress, in the context of family or community experiences has also been suggested to lead to preterm deliveries. This pathway is thought to operate through maternal, placental and fetal hormonal mechanisms." (Mattison,Damus,Fiore and Alter, Paediatric and Perinatal Epidemiology, 2001)

Signs of Preterm Labor:

Cramps that feel like a period

Cramps with or without diarrhea

Low, dull backache felt below the waistline

The feeling that the baby is pushing down hard

Clear, pink or brownish water leaking from your vagina (call health care provider immediately)

Contractions every 10 minutes ( or 5 or more contractions in one hour)

What to do:

Stop all activities.

Rest on the left side for one hour.

Drink at least 2-3 glasses of water or juice (not coffee or soda)

If the symptoms continue after one hour, call the doctor or nurse.

If there is any sudden fluid or bleeding from the vagina, call the health care provider at once.
If the symptoms get better, relax for the rest of the day.

March of Dimes has responded to health needs in this country for over 63 years. For information on preterm labor or brochures, call us at the CT Chapter at 1- 800-446-9255. Resource Center at 1-888-MODIMES for information on pregnancy and birth defects.



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How Stress Can Affect Pregnancy


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