Post-traumatic Stress Disorder and Pregnancy

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Pregnancy is one of the most significant periods in the life of any woman. While, on the one hand, this is a beautiful process of creating a new life, the reverse side of pregnancy should also be taken into account. This condition is simultaneously combined with a massive restructuring of the entire female body, changes in behavior, and psyche. Pregnancy is associated with many difficulties, both psychological and physical. Due to the number of possible negative factors this condition is connected with stress and various disorders. The purpose of this paper is to identify the connection between pregnancy and stress.

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The most famous stress disorder is the so-called post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD. This dysfunction is a severe mental condition that occurs as a result of a person suffering trauma, such as a risk of death, serious injury, or psychological shock (Khoramroudi, 2018). PTSD is most often associated with the military; however, it can also be observed in civilian people who experience some severe stress. The causes of PTSD are not only the events themselves but also the characteristics of the physiology and psyche of a particular individual (Khoramroudi, 2018). Thus, even an ordinary person can experience post-traumatic stress disorder if a specific event is solemn and frightening from his or her point of view. In this context, the occurrence of PTSD in pregnant women is more than possible, since the pregnancy process itself is inextricably linked to stress.

This pressure can be expressed in various forms since there are many reasons for its occurrence. They can be both external, for example, accidents, and internal, for instance, a frightening experience of violence (Khoramroudi, 2018). Since the pregnancy process stimulates various emotions and sensations, the occurrence of stress in this situation is possible. According to statistics, PTSD is indeed a relatively common disorder in pregnant women, as the number of women who have this mental disorder ranges between 4 and 6 percent (Khoramroudi, 2018). The likelihood of this disorder increases if a woman already has a history of psychological illnesses, including PTSD. The main three groups of symptoms of PTSD are mental abnormalities, such as irritability and difficulty in concentrating, avoiding mentioning the event, as well as flashbacks, obsessive thoughts, and nightmares (Khoramroudi, 2018). In the case of a predisposition to stress disorders, during pregnancy, such symptoms only intensify and manifest themselves in the form of various acute complications.

As practice shows, PTSD can also occur in those who have already given birth. In this case, the experience of stress can be caused by several reasons. First, a woman after childbirth begins to take care of the newborn; however, this guardianship may be accompanied by obsessive thoughts about the dangers awaiting the child (Khoramroudi, 2018). Moreover, these thoughts can be associated not only with physical threats but also with social ones, if, for example, there is no confidence in the future or an unfavorable environment is present. Secondly, childbirth itself is a complicated and painful process, which can also injure a woman both physically and mentally. Statistics show that PTSD is even more widespread after giving birth than during pregnancy, and in most cases, it intensifies between the first and sixth months after delivery (Khoramroudi, 2018). In this case, the symptoms of the disorder will arise from the fear of becoming pregnant again.

Thus, PTSD as a mental illness is quite common both among pregnant women and among those who have already given birth. Although the causes of this disorder may vary, statistics show that one in twenty pregnant women has PTSD. These numbers and the spread of this problem only increase after childbirth, especially from the first to the sixth month of the postpartum period. Therefore, it is especially important to pay attention to the mental health of women in the early months after childbirth, introducing special medical programs. Such applications should help reduce the risk of PTSD and aid in curing this disorder promptly if it occurs.


Khoramroudi, R. (2018). The prevalence of posttraumatic stress disorder during pregnancy and postpartum period. Journal of Family Medicine and Primary Care, 7(1), 220-223. Web.

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PsychologyWriting. (2022, February 4). Post-traumatic Stress Disorder and Pregnancy. Retrieved from


PsychologyWriting. (2022, February 4). Post-traumatic Stress Disorder and Pregnancy.

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"Post-traumatic Stress Disorder and Pregnancy." PsychologyWriting, 4 Feb. 2022,


PsychologyWriting. (2022) 'Post-traumatic Stress Disorder and Pregnancy'. 4 February.


PsychologyWriting. 2022. "Post-traumatic Stress Disorder and Pregnancy." February 4, 2022.

1. PsychologyWriting. "Post-traumatic Stress Disorder and Pregnancy." February 4, 2022.


PsychologyWriting. "Post-traumatic Stress Disorder and Pregnancy." February 4, 2022.