Why you might feel stressed when your partner is pregnant
Going through pregnancy and becoming a parent involves many changes – often all at once.
For example, during pregnancy, you might feel stressed about things like money management, work demands, relationship problems or family conflict.
Also, you might feel overwhelmed and stressed by how much there is to learn about caring for a newborn and how this will affect time for your relationships and yourself.
How your stress can affect your pregnant partner and baby
You might think you’re handling your stress or that it’s not affecting the people around you. But too much stress can make you upset, and it can spill over into your relationships with other people. You might be more irritable and tense with others and more likely to argue with your partner.
If you rely on alcohol or other drugs or smoking to cope with stress, you might find yourself using these more than usual. This can lead to even more tension and arguments.
If your stress levels get out of hand, it can lead to stress in your pregnant partner. And if your partner has a lot of stress, this can affect your baby’s health and development before and after birth.
Dealing with stress when your partner is pregnant
Finding ways to deal with stress is good for you, your partner and your baby.
Talking about the things that are causing your stress is a good step. You could talk with your partner or someone you trust. This can help you understand problems and find solutions.
For example, if you’re stressed about your family’s finances, you could ask another parent about how they’ve dealt with it. They might have some tips or insights to share. You could also find out what government parenting payments you’re eligible for after your baby is born.
Looking after your physical health is another way to manage stress. You can look after your physical health by eating well, getting exercise, resting and doing things you enjoy. It’s best to avoid stimulants like cigarettes and caffeine and depressants like alcohol.
Some parents-to-be feel less stressed by the changes of pregnancy and new parenthood when they learn more about what to expect. This might help you feel ready for the changes rather than overwhelmed by them.
You can do this by:
- exploring our Newborns section
- reading baby and parenting books
- talking with your partner, family or friends who are new parents
- going to antenatal classes or breastfeeding classes or doing these classes online.
If you’re not coping with stress or you’re getting upset or angry with your partner or other people, it’s a good idea to ask for help. You could talk to your GP or call Lifeline on 131 114, MensLine on 1300 789 978 or QLife (LGBTQ+ peer support) on 1800 184 527, or use their webchat services.
For some people, stress can lead to anger, and anger can lead to violence in pregnancy. Family violence is never OK. If your stress is leading to anger and violence, it’s important to get professional help. Call the National Domestic, Family and Sexual Violence Counselling Service on 1800 737 732 or the Men’s Referral Service on 1300 766 491.