Effects Of Stress On Fetal Development

1978 Words Jan 28th, 2016 8 Pages
Research into the effects of stress on fetal development first began in the mid 1950s (Wadhwa, 2005). Stress is an overarching term that can cover different areas and is something that is ever-present in life, it can be ‘acute’ and therefore only be small, or it can have serious effects on individual’s health and become ‘chronic’ (desAnges Cruser, Hall, Jones, Mummert, Mummert and Podawiltz, 2012). In relation to this essay stress is when our mental and physical state can be distressed by a reaction to a certain stimulus. When people react to these stimuli hormones are released (adrenaline and cortisol) and these move through the body causing a change in people’s states. Stimuli that can cause this reaction are known as stressors and these involve threats such as divorce, loss of a job, death of a loved one and natural disasters and these threats can in turn lead to anxiety and depression. Individuals can try and alter their reaction to these stressors, so they don’t have such a harmful effect, but they are not always easy to control. Throughout the years both human and animal models have been used to examine the effect that stress can have on the development of the fetus both before and after birth. Human models examine the responses of people to certain conditions. Animal models are similar to those in humans, however they are more invasive; a disease or psychological process that is comparable to a condition in a human can be induced in a non-human animal or…
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