• anxiety;
  • stress;
  • pregnancy;
  • relaxation

The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of applied relaxation training on reducing anxiety and perceived stress among pregnant women. A randomized controlled trial with a prospective pretest-posttest experimental design was used. One hundred ten primigravid women (mean age = 23.8 years) in their second trimester (mean of gestational age = 17.8 weeks) were randomly assigned into experimental and control groups. The experimental group received routine prenatal care with applied relaxation training, and the control group received only routine prenatal care. State/trait anxiety was measured with the Spielberger State-Trait Anxiety Inventory, and perceived stress was measured with the Cohen Perceived Stress Scale. There were significant reductions in state/trait anxiety and perceived stress for the experimental group compared with the control group after the intervention. The findings suggest beneficial effects of relaxation on reducing anxiety and perceived stress in pregnant women. Teaching relaxation techniques could serve as a resource for improving maternal psychological health.