Stress can negatively affect a woman's attitude toward pregnancy. Immense pressure and distress can push even the healthiest of women to deny the reality of pregnancy.
Research has shown that stress can induce denied pregnancies in women who have no history of psychological problems [source: Brezinka et al.]. Among women who had no idea they were pregnant, many say stress partly distracted them from the realities of pregnancy -- sometimes until labor. Often, these women think chronic stress is responsible for symptoms such as weight gain, headaches, digestive issues and bodily pains.
Doctors also know that stress can affect the regularity of a woman's menstrual cycle. In this sense, a woman who misses a period because she's pregnant may falsely attribute her irregularity to stress and other upsetting factors in her life.
Fertility matters. Read how on the next page.