Additional stresses for women during pregnancy may lead to inadequate sleep and poor eating habits for expectant mothers, which can cause increased risks of illness, weakened immune system and possibly an increased risk of preeclampsia. “There is actually more risk to the pregnancy when there is a major life stress in early pregnancy and the first trimester, as major stress can disrupt the natural adaptations required for a pregnancy to develop normally and lead to adverse outcomes,” said Jill Purdie, M.D., OB-GYN and medical director at Northside Women’s Specialists in Atlanta, Georgia, part of the Mednax® family.

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