Negative Thoughts During Pregnancy Affect Baby

It is true that feeling positive and happy will help your baby to develop more quickly in a secure and stable environment. But you also need to know that stress and anxiety can increase a number of health problems well before birth, including miscarriage, preterm birth, low birth weight and particularly in twins and triplets.

When you have negative thoughts about your pregnancy, it can impact your baby’s development in important ways. It also may cause stress and anxiety to build, which can make you uncomfortable as a mom and could cause harm to the developing baby.

When you’re pregnant, you may experience strong feelings of anxiety and stress. In fact, feelings of stress are more prevalent during pregnancy than at any other time in a woman’s life. However, if you feel your emotions toward your child getting brought to the surface and you find them overwhelming, it is perfectly normal to feel stressed and worried about how you will support your baby.

Is It Normal to Have Negative Thoughts During Pregnancy

What is emotional health?

Emotional health is a state of wellbeing. When you feel well and content, you are better able to cope with stress, maintain relationships and enjoy life.

Looking after your emotional health has benefits for both you and your baby.

Being active, feeling a sense of belonging and having a purpose in life are all good for emotional health and wellbeing. You will feel happier and better able to deal with problems and stress.

For more information and tips on how to be emotionally and mentally healthy, visit Act-Belong-Commit (external site).

Benefits of emotional health during pregnancy

When you are pregnant, your baby is exposed to everything you experience. This includes the sounds in the environment, the air you breathe, the food you eat and the emotions you feel.

When you feel happy and calm, it allows your baby to develop in a happy, calm environment. However, emotions like stress and anxiety can increase particular hormones in your body, which can affect your baby’s developing body and brain.

Benefits of emotional health after your baby is born

From birth, the interactions you have with your baby helps to shape the way he or she will think, feel and behave later in life. These interactions also help to form important emotional bonds between you and your child.

Good emotional health also helps to maintain positive relationships with your older children and other family. They can help support you and your partner through the challenges of adjusting to a new baby.

For information about connecting and bonding with your newborn, visit the Raising Children Network (external site).

What if I’m struggling with my emotions?

Often one or both parents experience difficult emotions during pregnancy, or after the birth of a child. You are not alone.

You might be feeling like hiding the fact you are struggling because you feel embarrassed or ashamed.

It is normal to have occasional negative thoughts, dreams or fleeting doubts.

Many things can make you feel this way including:

  • worries about the birth
  • lack of sleep
  • worries about how you’re coping as a parent.

There are things you can do to help yourself get through the more challenging aspects of parenthood. You can read about some common emotional problems in parents with new babies here.

Becoming a mum

Becoming a mum can mean your hopes and dreams have come true. You may love feeling your baby move inside. You may feel a sense of achievement in giving birth. You may love holding, touching, watching, smelling and playing with your baby. Some mums may not feel that overwhelming sense of love they were anticipating straight away.

Sometimes the happy emotions of motherhood are mixed up with feelings of loss, fear, worry, guilt and frustration. You might think:

  • What if I make too many mistakes?
  • Will people think I’m a bad mother?
  • What about my old life?

It is normal to ask yourself lots of questions when you’re going through a major life change, like having a baby.

Big changes in your life can leave you feeling overwhelmed, especially when things don’t happen the way you expected.

Becoming a dad

While women usually start preparing emotionally for parenthood during pregnancy, some fathers begin this process after the birth. As a result, the reality of fatherhood can be quite a shock. Even if you have been preparing throughout the pregnancy, some fathers can feel unprepared for the reality of having a newborn.

Some fathers can feel fierce, protective, overwhelming love for their child straight away, for others it may take a bit longer.

Fatherhood is just as challenging as motherhood, though not always for the same reasons. You might think:

  • I want to help with the baby, but I don’t know how.
  • It’s stressful managing work and family commitments.

You might also notice your relationship with your partner changes a lot too.

It’s normal to feel confused, stressed and out of your comfort zone when you have a new baby.

With any new or difficult situation, sometimes you are able to cope with the challenge, and sometimes you can feel overwhelmed. Fatherhood is no exception.

Just remember – there are plenty of things you can do to support yourself and your partner during this time.

If it is takinf more than a couple of weeks to feel a connection with your baby, you should talk to a health professional. Read more about common emotional problems here

Can Your Unborn Baby Feel Your Sadness

Stress experienced by a woman during pregnancy may affect her unborn baby as early as 17 weeks after conception, with potentially harmful effects on brain and development, according to new research. The study is the first to show that unborn babies are exposed to their mother’s stress hormones at such an early stage in pregnancy.

The findings, published in the journal Clinical Endocrinology, come after separate research on animals showed that high levels of stress in a mother during pregnancy could affect brain function and behaviour in her offspring, and other evidence suggesting that maternal stress in humans can affect the developing child, including lowering its IQ.

However, the way this happens and the implications for the unborn child, both before and after birth, are still not fully understood and further research is needed, the latest study’s authors said.


They said they did not wish to “unduly worry pregnant women”, but highlighted the need to lead a “healthy, balanced lifestyle” to avoid general stress.

The baby charity Tommy’s called on family, friends and employers of pregnant women to provide support and reassurance to help them reduce stress.

The findings, the latest to focus on the impact of the environment in the womb on later development, come days after the government changed its advice to pregnant women and those trying to conceive, warning them to abstain from drinking alcohol. Previous guidelines had said they could drink up to two small glasses of wine a week.

The change in advice, which government health advisers said was made to avoid confusion, rather than in response to new medical evidence, prompted claims from some critics that pregnant women are increasingly becoming targets in an obsessively anti-risk culture.

Researchers in the latest study, led by Professor Vivette Glover at Imperial College London and the consultant obstetrician Pampa Sarkar, from Wexham Park hospital, Berkshire, measured levels of the stress hormone cortisol in 267 pregnant women. Cortisol, which is pumped into the blood when we become anxious, is good in the short term, as it helps the body to deal with a stressful situation, but long-term stress can cause tiredness, depression and make an individual more prone to illness.


Scientists sampled blood from the mother and amniotic fluid from around the foetus in the womb and found that, at a gestational age of 17 weeks or greater, higher cortisol levels in the mother’s blood were reflected in higher levels in the amniotic fluid. Amniotic fluid is mainly produced by the foetus and is a good indicator of its exposure to a range of substances, including hormones.

Dr Sarkar said further research was needed into how high levels of stress in a mother affect the unborn baby. “We are all a product of our developmental history,” she added. “One of the times when we are most susceptible to the influences of our surrounding environment is when we are developing as a foetus.

“Our research shows that the foetus is exposed to cortisol in the maternal blood, and we also demonstrated that at and above 17 weeks, the cortisol in amniotic fluid had a strong positive relationship with cortisol in maternal blood. We found that the strength of this correlation became stronger with increasing gestational age. We now need to carry out further work to unravel the mechanisms by which maternal stress affects the foetus, both during foetal life and through into childhood.

Claire Friars, a midwife at the charity Tommy’s, said: “This is an important study as, for the first time, there’s solid evidence to show that an unborn child may be exposed to maternal stress as early as 17 weeks in development.

“A crucial next step would be to uncover to what extent different levels of maternal stress can potentially affect an unborn child. For now – based on previous research – one thing is clear: high levels of stress in pregnancy can in some cases be detrimental to the health of the baby.

“To remain as stress-free as possible is certainly important during pregnancy. Of course, this is easier said than done, as pregnancy itself can incite all sorts of feelings – from feeling overwhelmed, happy and nervous. Pregnancy can signify major emotional changes in mums-to-be, from mood swings to feeling incredibly anxious, which may well elevate women’s stress levels.

“It is vital that pregnant women are given adequate support and reassurance from their family, friends and employers, to ensure they have a happy and healthy pregnancy.”

An earlier study, published in January and led by Prof Glover, measured the intelligence of more than 100 babies and toddlers whose mothers had suffered unusually high stress in pregnancy. It found their IQ was generally about 10 points below average, and that many had higher than average levels of anxiety and attention deficit problems. Relationship problems with a partner were the most frequent cause of stress for pregnant women, the research revealed.

One theory is that so-called “foetal programming” developed as an evolutionary strategy to prepare children to cope with life, on the basis that if the mother was highly stressed, the baby was likely to be born into a dangerous environment.

Can Negative Thoughts Affect Pregnancy

A:Scientifically, your emotions do not have a bearing on the personality of your unborn child. However, if you have negative feelings or depression, that can adversely affect your health, and thereby, affect the well being of your unborn baby.

If you have negative feelings or depression, that can adversely affect your health, and thereby, affect the well being of your unborn baby.

Negative thoughts can affect your health and prevent you from having a healthy pregnancy. Try to think positively and try not to dwell on negative things.

Negative thoughts that you have are a normal part of life, but it is important to control such negative thoughts. In particular, it is important that you don’t abuse drugs and alcohol or use other chemicals or medications that can cause mental instability during pregnancy.

Why do I Have Negative Thoughts During Pregnancy

Often one or both parents experience difficult emotions during pregnancy, or after the birth of a child. You are not alone. You might be feeling like hiding the fact you are struggling because you feel embarrassed or ashamed. It is normal to have occasional negative thoughts, dreams or fleeting doubts.

It is normal to have occasional negative thoughts, dreams or fleeting doubts. Often one or both parents experience difficult emotions during pregnancy, or after the birth of a child. You are not alone. You might be feeling like hiding the fact you are struggling because you feel embarrassed or ashamed

During pregnancy, it is common to have some negative thoughts. As a new parent, you might feel like you are not good enough or that you are making things too hard for your child. You are not alone. Parents of all backgrounds experience difficulty at times and sometimes just need a little help from others.

When you are pregnant, there is an increased chance of experiencing negative thoughts and feelings. You may feel like everything is moving too fast and panic when you think about giving birth. These feelings might also tend to get worse after baby’s birth. However, this is completely normal and should not be seen as a sign that something is wrong or abnormal.

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