Stress, Pregnancy, and Birth

The complete Mongan Method HypnoBirthing course is built around the six pillars of HypnoBirthing. Today’s post is going to look at the first pillar, Relaxation, and why it’s so important



But first, if you haven’t already, please Download Your Free Gift,

our Hypnosis for Comfort in Pregnancy MP3.


Pregnancy is a special time in one’s life. As you grow your new baby, you begin to make changes to your health and habits in order to give your baby the opportunity of optimal health and wellness. For some mothers this may include changing their diet to include a variety of whole, fresh foods and avoiding certain other foods and alcohol. For others, they may be cutting out an unhealthy habit such as smoking.


Why do we make these important changes? Because we realize that the foods and substances that we put into our bodies cross over into the body of our babies.


Did you know that your stress can also cross over to your baby? Most people, in fact, don’t know the effects that maternal stress can have on their little ones. This happens because the hormones your body produces when you are in a stressful situation easily cross the placenta, enter your baby’s bloodstream, and can create the same physical stress response that you experience


For most people, our daily lives are quite stressful. The list of stressors can include demanding jobs, active social lives, balancing finances, challenging relationships, and just trying to do it all. These stressors seem to be exacerbated as we prepare to bring a baby into our lives


What effect does stress have in pregnancy?


When stress enters our lives, our bodies produce hormones that create a fight or flight response. This happens whether we are physically in danger such as being attacked by a tiger or are emotionally stressed such as missing a big work deadline. Our minds do not know the difference and therefore secrete the same stressor hormones which cause the same physical reactions. When stress is severe or is occurring chronically and the built up adrenalin and tension are not released, muscles stay tight and a number of other changes occur in the body. Chronic stress produces a hormone called cortisol. Just as the name implies, cortisol is a steroid. One of the things a high level of cortisol does in the body is lower the production of Human Growth Hormone (hGH).

That sounds like a pretty important hormone to have plenty of when you are growing a baby. It’s also a really important hormone for healing and repairing your body during pregnancy.


So stress affects my baby’s growth?


If you are stressed during pregnancy, no matter the reason, the body simply reacts as if you are in physical danger, engaging your fight or flight response. If a baby is going to be born into a physically dangerous environment, nature prepares your baby for that. As your baby grows, blood flow is directed away from the prefrontal cortex of the baby’s brain and instead shunts it to a more primitive region of the brain. Blood flow is also directed away from the digestive system and other internal organs in order to support large muscle groups needed for defense. Chronic stress will also affect your immune system. One incredible study demonstrated that just 5 minutes of feeling angry lowered the immune response for up to 6 hours. On the other hand, 5 minutes of feeling calm and happy increased immunity for over 6 hours. Your stress levels really do affect your health and the health of your growing baby.


Happier, healthier you = happier, healthier baby


When you prioritize the practice of relaxation during your pregnancy, your body prepares as if your baby is going to be born into a peaceful, balanced, and safe environment. When stressor hormones are at a minimum and instead your calm body and mind produce ample hormones of relaxation and balance, the part of your baby’s brain responsible for intelligence will be supported with ample blood flow to it. At the same time, your own hormones of relaxation provide improved blood flow to your reproductive organs, your digestive system, and your brain.


If you find your life has been very stressful during your pregnancy, that’s a really good reason to learn evidence-based relaxation techniques. The bonus is that you are teaching your baby to relax as well. The great thing is that just 20 minutes deep relaxation every day can have a profound effect on you and your baby.


That’s why we have included a free 25 minute MP3, Hypnosis for Comfort in Pregnancy, for you to start relaxing right now, regardless of how close to your birth you are. Learning to relax is a really valuable part of your preparation for birth and your ability to be a calm parent. 



Ashley Ladroma, BSN, RN, HBCE

Certfied HypnoBirthing Educator

My name is Ashley. I’m a mother to three incredible HypnoBirthing babies. I’m a labor, delivery, and postpartum RN with birth experience in both the hospital and out-of-hospital settings. I’m a passionate HypnoBirthing Childbirth Educator because I have experienced first hand the beauty of this method.

I‘m on a mission to help women find the power that has been within them always. Birth is one way in which we can access this instinctive, intuitive power.




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