Fighting While Pregnant & Its Effects On You & Your Baby

Fighting During Pregnancy & Its Effects On You & Your Baby

Medically Reviewed By
Dr. Sanjana Sainani (Gynecologist/Obstetrician)
View more Gynecologist/Obstetrician Our Panel of Experts

The pregnancy experience differs for each couple. The baby’s entry can bring physical, financial, and emotional stress along with happiness and excitement. You may notice that there will be more disputes between you and your partner once you find out that you’re going to be parents. While fighting is common in couples, you should know that disagreements could harm your baby. 70 per cent of couples experience “precipitous” drops in the quality of their relationship following the birth of a child. So when it comes to disagreements for any argument, ask yourself whether the fight is worth your energy and peace rather than passing judgement or attempting to persuade. Learn how fighting with your spouse during pregnancy can affect your baby’s health.

How Does Fighting and Yelling Affect Your Unborn Baby?

How Does Fighting and Yelling Affect Your Unborn Baby?


It is overwhelming to think that fighting with your husband during pregnancy can affect the baby’s well-being. Fighting causes anxiety and depression, and that can harm your baby. Arguing during pregnancy affects the baby, from the brain to the immune system. Some of the effects are listed below:

1. Constricted Brain Development

Keep shouting and screaming to a minimum. Anger prohibits the development of your baby’s brain. It affects not only the baby’s IQ but also his/her ability to manage emotions later in life. Babies exposed to high-stress levels during pregnancy are prone to anxiety and have a larger amygdala, the section of the brain responsible for regulating the response to frightening stimuli.

2. Physical Deformities

A physical squabble can harm your child. It results in the highest risk of stillbirth. In addition, physical abuse during pregnancy can cause low birth weight, physical injuries, and bleeding.

3. Compromised Immune System

Increased stress during or after a fight can also suppress a child’s immune system, leading to illness and health problems in the future.

4. Physiological and Biological Development

Anger increases our heart rates and blood pressure, as well as adrenaline and epinephrine, contributing to growing tension and causing blood vessels to constrict. This results in the reduction of oxygen to the uterus, compromising the foetal blood supply. It can also cause ulcers, asthma, high blood pressure (hypertension), heart problems, headaches, skin disorders and digestive problems.

5. Addiction or Overindulgence

There is a direct link between uncontrolled anger and crime, emotional and physical abuse, and other violent behaviours with fighting during pregnancy. In the future, these people tend to indulge in habits that are dangerous to their health, such as smoking, excessive alcohol use, and overeating.

Common Fights Expectant Couples Have

While each couple is different and often has its own set of issues they tend to fight about, a few sensitive topics are bound to raise an argument between the husband and wife. Here are common fights that expectant couples tend to have:

1. Being Selfish

Once you’re pregnant, everything revolves around the baby, and rightly so. However, many husbands may feel their wives are obsessed and can’t talk about anything else, which may result in a fight. On the other hand, the husband could be caught up with work and miss out on important events such as doctor’s appointments, angering the wife.

2. Money

Finances are a huge cause of fights between expectant couples. But, of course, none of you would have a clear idea of how much your expenses would increase after the baby, which may cause a huge difference in opinion on spending and saving.

3. Name of the Baby

Naming the baby is a huge deal, and most couples want to choose a name that’s unique, meaningful, and fit for the baby. Agreeing on a name can be a task, especially if your family members wish to have a say.

4. In-Laws Fight

Sometimes after you become pregnant, in-laws get in the way too much. Since it is his family, you want your partner to step in and establish some boundaries, but that can be easier said than done.

How to Handle – The core problem in this situation is who comes first. Most parenting decisions lie with the parents as you and your spouse will raise your unborn child. However, as in-laws have had the experience of parenthood, calmly listening to them and positively stating your points to them if you disagree will help mitigate any fight and resolve the issue without worrying.

5. Sex Fight

Your lover can’t help but be attracted to you because you look great with that pregnancy glow. And maybe not you’re into it, or maybe your pillow and sleep mask are the only things you want to get close to. But unfortunately, dealing with some typical but uncomfortable pregnancy sex issues can be less than enticing.

How to Handle – Laugh at the ridiculous, unpleasant things that might occur during sex and feel at ease with one another. Think about the intimacy you are willing to experience and what you do and don’t want in a relationship. Find alternative ways to be near, even if it’s just a sofa cuddle. If you’re not feeling well, explain why you’re not up for sex, not that you don’t find your spouse appealing anymore, but put your moods and opinions to the table with a calm and positive attitude.

6. “Hormones Did It” Fight

On the pregnancy roller coaster, there may be times when your hormones, aches, and pains manifest themselves in a side of you that you have never seen before. Maybe your partner says something that used to make you laugh but now upsets you, or maybe they make you cry with what they think is a harmless joke. You’ll probably be surprised by these mini-meltdowns.

How to Handle – Create the silliest, funniest names you can think of, like Hormonal Helen or Freaky Fran, or use a goofy motion to demonstrate that you would, if you could, control your reactions. Then, your partner will understand to give you some space when Screamy Sarah shows up, and the depersonalisation of your conduct will offer you peace of mind that this isn’t who you are.

Bonus: You could find yourself giggling instead.

Effects of Arguing and Screaming on the Mother

As the pregnancy progresses, the woman may experience significant emotional changes and mood swings that could lead to an argument with the partner. These changes are due to rapidly changing levels of the estrogen and progesterone hormones. Yelling, shouting, or fighting can be inimical for the mother. Stress may lead to cramping, headaches, nauseous and sleep apnea. It may also lead to premature labour. Arguing while pregnant, in the first trimester, can lead to depression and irritability, as well. Hence, avoiding fights with your partner is the best solution for a peaceful pregnancy.

Tips to Avoid Fighting and Arguing During Pregnancy

A good partnership is very challenging during pregnancy. Besides hormonal changes, lack of sleep and energy, and the changing body shape of the mother, there is a huge life shift for the couple. These changes affect sturdy relationships, and arguments can pop up more than usual. Here are some tips to avoid a dispute with your partner.

1. Compliment Each Other More Often

A husband can compliment her pregnant wife by telling her how well she manages things or thank her for caring for the developing child. On the other hand, a wife can compliment her husband for supporting them. This will lead to less fights.

2. Be More Understanding

A better understanding of your partner helps avoid arguments. Help each other with routine tasks in the house so you both get extra time to rest and rejuvenate.

3. Talk About Fear, Anxieties, and Future Plans

During pregnancy, there are so many unknown things to be scared of. The wife may be worried about pregnancy, labour, and parenthood. Whereas the husband may be worried about finances, responsibilities, etc., the Discussion about pregnancy planning strengthens your bond and helps you get into each other’s mind.

4. Go for Activity Classes Together

Do some additional fun things that make you feel better. Joining a yoga or meditation group allows you to meet other people who share your situation. Exercise keeps you both physically fit and mentally relaxed.


1. How Can You Control Your Anger in Pregnancy?

Here are some tips for managing pregnancy mood changes:

  • Do have some mercy on yourself and take care of your mental health.
  • Have a conversation with your partner and children.
  • Have adequate sleep
  • Locate a helpful friend to share your emotions and doubts.
  • Get in touch with other expectant mothers so that you can have a better idea about this process and understanding.

2. Does Arguing Cause Miscarriage in Early Pregnancy?

According to other American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists experts, stress does not contribute to early miscarriage. However, this does not preclude stress from harming your pregnancy, though persistent stress can harm one’s physical and emotional health, and lighting while pregnant can cause damage to the mother’s mental health. Fighting while pregnant can cause significant emotional stress to the baby and the mother.

3. How Does Mothers’ Emotions Affect the Unborn Baby?

Exposure to loud noise, deep emotions, stress, etc., regularly can raise the risk of preterm birth and low birth weight in kids.

It is normal to have arguments sometimes, which is not likely to cause any harm, but any excessive argument should be avoided since it may cause serious consequences to both the mother and the baby. Using tips and proper medical therapy can pacify these arguments for a smooth pregnancy.

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