Scientists have long confirmed the fact that stress andnegative emotions can affect both the development of the fetus and the result of childbirth. New studies by scientists from Columbia University have identified the effects of physical and psychological stress, which can have a big impact on the course of pregnancy and its effects on the fetus.
The effects of stress during pregnancy
If a pregnant woman is stressed, then inappropriate hormones are released to her body, such as adrenaline, norepinephrine and cortisol. Subsequently, these hormones are excreted from the body, but some of them are able to pass through the placenta and affect the fetus, causing a rapid heartbeat and increased motor activity of the child. Starting from the 17th week of pregnancy, the baby is already able to experience stress, causing a sharp narrowing of blood flow, which subsequently leads to a lack of oxygen and nutrients.
In order to understand the mechanism of actionstress on the fetus, scientists conducted studies in which they were able to study 27 indicators of psychoemotional and physical stress, collecting these data from questionnaires and diaries in 187 healthy pregnant women aged 18 to 45 years.
After analyzing the profiles of pregnant women, scientistsfound that 17% of women had psychological stress with a clinical manifestation of depression, 16% were in physical stress, manifested in the form of high blood pressure and increased calorie intake, and the remaining 67% of pregnant women were completely healthy.
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Stress reduces the chance of giving birth to a boy
A study showed that thosepregnant women who experienced physical and psychological stress were less likely to give birth to boys. On average, for every 100 girls born, about 105 boys were born. But in this study, the predominance in the ratio of boys and girls was given to girls born in conditions of physical and psychological stress. It is worth noting that some scientists have already noted such a tendency for girls to be born, after serious social upheavals, such as the September 11 terrorist attacks in New York.
Scientists also noted that mothers inphysical stress with high blood pressure and increased calorie intake are more likely to give birth prematurely. Most often, such women gave birth to children with cardiac arrhythmias, as well as with a slower development of the central nervous system, compared with a healthy group of subjects.
Social support for pregnant women
Scientists claim that identifying anxiety andDepression in pregnant women should be part of prenatal research. According to their estimates, about 30% of pregnant women reported psycho-emotional stress due to stress at work or because of depression and anxiety. Such stress is associated with an increased risk of preterm birth, which is associated with higher rates of infant mortality, as well as physical and psychological disorders, among which are attention deficit disorder, hyperactivity and anxiety.
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Similar studies have been conducted onanimals whose examination showed that cortisol has a strong effect on the fetus, leading to changes that affect the neurological and behavioral development of the fetus.