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  1. #1
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    Jul 2012
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    Default Stress & early pregnancy

    Hi ladies, I'm six weeks & four days pregnant with my first baby after IVF. I was just wondering if anyone knows whether stress can have a negative impact on my pregnancy, such as causing a miscarriage?

    I'm under a lot of stress at work. Anyone who knows anything about the changes to the TAFE system in Queensland should know that it is not a fun place to work right now. We are not being told anything, people are being fired all over the place, institutes are not communicating with each other, everyone is stressed & frustrated & taking it out on their colleagues, the students have been told basically nothing so they are taking their frustration out on staff such as myself. On top of this I have the world's worst manager who basically doesn't even care about my team. Sometimes I think she forgets we even exist cause she is based at another campus & we literally never see her. We have no support from her & no communication unless it's demanding that we do something.

    I'm on a temp contract but really don't want to have to find another job, go through the stress of learning it & being trained, & then have to leave to have the baby. Although I'm temp I've been there for two years so I'm entitled to some paid maternity leave. Plus, given how many people have been fired, jobs in my profession are pretty hard to come by right now (I've been looking).

    Therefore I'm really not sure if there is anything I can do about the extreme levels of stress I'm under, but I'm really really scared that it's going to cause me to have a miscarriage.

    My manager is totally not approachable about this. We just got a new supervisor & I have never even met her (she is also based at another campus). She has seemed nice from the few email conversations I've had with her but that is the only contact I've had thus far. Therefore I have no idea how she would react if I approached her about this.

    What should I do? I'm almost at breaking point as far as the stress & I'm starting to take it out on colleagues at work & my family. I've spoken with the employee assist people but all they could really suggest was that I take regular breaks & try to stay calm.

  2. #2
    harvs's Avatar
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    I was extremely stressed in my first trimester, and I had the same fears as you. I think the best advice I can give is that, although feeling stressed is not ideal, the better shape you are in physically the stronger your body will be. So, while you might not be able to control a lot at work, if you try to eat well and get as much rest as possible then you will probably be feeling better mentally too, and you will be in the best possible condition to nurture your little one. Also, take control of the things you can control, and try and let go of the things you can't. Is there an affirmation or something you can tell yourself at work to keep you calm? Can you go for a walk to somewhere peaceful in your lunch break? Do you have some sick days stored up that you can use if you need a break?

    I'm not trying to minimize your feelings, but women all over the world conceive, grow and have babies, some in such stressful conditions that we can't even imagine here in Australia. Sometimes stressing about stressing can be worse than the stress itself, if you know what I mean.

    Congratulations on your pregnancy, and I hope it continues to go well.

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  4. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Ever since i fell pregnant with my current pregnancy ive been under a lot of stress too. No car anymore, financial problems, not being able to find somewhere to live etc. It takes a toll on you! The main thing i did was try and keep as calm as i could as it was the only thing i could think of. I know it is hard but i have made it to 24 weeks with no troubles. If you are concerned though dont ever hesitate to see your local gp as they can help a lot. Good luck with your pregnancy!

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  5. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
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    That's tough you're under so much stress but I'm sure you and bub will be fine (congratulations by the way!). Just don't forget to look after yourself amidst the chaos! IVF is enough stress as it is! After my bfp I was convinced I was going to miscarry or it was ectopic so I was pretty stressed! Our financial situation at the time meant if I lost the baby we couldn't afford another cycle to try again so I was a bit of a train wreck. Obviously didn't do DD any harm because she's a happy, healthy 13 month old now

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Brisbane Bayside
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    Usually when studies talk about extreme maternal stress causing miscarriage or health abnormalities in babies they are referring to traumatic injury such as 3rd degree burns, kidnap, death of immediate family member, etc. So even tho, yes, your situation sounds like it's very difficult and uncertain and is causing you a lot of stress, I would expect that your mental health is going to suffer a lot more than your baby is, which is both a bad and good thing I guess. Hang in there and seek counselling services if talking about your concerns might help you manage day to day.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    I remember reading a scientific journal a couple of years ago that investigated the effect of stress on pregnancy. I can't seem to find it for you though (I wish I could because it was very informative).

    Through various studies, they noticed a correlation between moderate levels of stress (such as a career change or lifestyle change) and resilience in toddlers/young children.
    However it was found that a number of high stresses (such as death of a partner) throughout the pregnancy was linked to behavioural problems in toddlers.
    Through studying pregnancy in the third world, extreme stress (famine, natural disasters) was linked to miscarriage and abnormalities.

    So while you're undergoing a very difficult time with work at the moment (and I can completely sympathise as I am going through a very similar thing), I wouldn't worry about the effect this is having on your baby. According to this study, your stress levels are considered moderate and this hard time you're having now may actually turn out well for your baby!

    I'd advise take a day when you need it (your doctor should be completely sympathetic to giving you a medical certificate) and remember that you work to live not live to work so be sure to take 'me time' to preserve your mental health.


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