AbstractPregnancy can be a source of both physical and emotional stress for the pregnant woman. Stress can greatly impact one's well-being by increasing blood pressure, reducing coping mechanisms, and ultimately threatening one's homeostasis. Anecdotal data indicates that urban and rural areas afford different sociocultural stress. There is a dearth of studies that explore perceptions of stress among pregnant women and no known studies that explore the perception of stress among pregnant women who live in different sociocultural areas of the United States. The purpose of this pilot study was to explore perceptions of stress among rural and urban pregnant women. Findings indicated that rural participants attended prenatal classes more than urban participants and that urban participants perceived greater overall stress than rural participants. The study lends feasibility to future research exploring perinatal stress as influenced by geographical, sociocultural factors.
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