Diverse human hands showing unityWhen stress helps people learn how to manage challenging situations, it can be a good thing. However, when stress becomes more severe or lasts a long time, it can be harmful. Stress can lead to anxiety and depression, and is also linked to heart disease. Building supportive environments, and learning how to manage stress is important for everyone. For women who are pregnant, managing stress can reduce the risk of poor maternal and infant health outcomes such as low birth weight and premature birth. For preconception women, managing stress can help ensure a healthy pregnancy. individuals to make healthy choices.

Overview Webinar: Managing Stress: Strategies for Healthy Start Programs (Presented live 12/5/17)

Featured Resources

Explore resources and strategies to support participants and staff to practice mindfulness and reduce stress.

Working with participants?

Click the arrows below for resources to support participants to learn about mindfulness and manage stress.

All Participants
Pregnant Participants
Postpartum and Parenting Participants
  • Text4Baby provides supportive texts during pregnancy in both English and Spanish


Looking for ideas for your program?

Explore resources for your program related to mindfulness and stress reduction.

Changes to Your Healthy Start Program Setting
  • Offer social support groups or stress management courses for participants (see below).
  • Dedicate a quiet space where staff and participants can relax.
  • Sponsor social events like (healthy!) picnics and walking groups for staff
  • Support staff to manage compassion fatigue, e.g., through a EPIC Center Compassion Fatigue community training or other resources and training.
  • For more on these and other ideas, see page 25 of CDC Worksite Health Scorecard.
Stress Management Courses
  • Some Healthy Start programs offer social support groups for participants. These groups provide a space for participants to develop social support networks.
  • Some Healthy Start programs offer yoga classes (for example, prenatal yoga) onsite or in locations that are convenient for participants.
  • Some Healthy Start programs offer courses on topics that can help participants and staff manage stress, such as: mindfulness, financial literacy, and skills to balance work and life.
  • Many YMCAs offer stress management/relaxation classes. Check with your local program.
  • Some Cooperative Extension programs offer stress management classes/workshops. Check with your local program.


Want to tap into community efforts?

Click the arrows below for resources to support mindfulness and stress reduction initiatives in your community.

Community Resources
  • Support efforts for community revitalization and initiatives to develop spaces for safe physical activity which contributes to increased social cohesion and physical activity levels – both of which can help reduce stress.