Effects of Prenatal Maternal Stress on Development

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Although there are many factors that affect the development of the fetus, research on the specific effects of prenatal maternal stress and the resulting negative outcomes for the development of the fetus will be reviewed. While there is knowledge of these harmful effects in scientific and medical communities, researchers are still in the midst of discovering the results of these negative effects on human development. An overall review of the literature suggests that this topic is still relatively new in research as most of the articles make note that despite the amount of current research studies, there are still many unanswered questions.
Each second of fetal development during pregnancy is of extreme importance. This period of
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Consequently, a large number of issues can and have arisen that have been caused by an increase in Glucocorticoids during prenatal development.
Maternal stress also plays a role in the prenatal development affecting the length of gestation. Most commonly, maternal prenatal stress affects birth outcomes including prenatal delivery. Emerging research suggests that measures of pregnancy-specific stress are better than measures of general psychological distress for predicting developmental outcomes including preterm delivery (Davis & Sandman, 2010). Goals from the study in this article investigated maternal cortisol and stress and how each affects cognitive and motor development. Women who reported having higher levels of stress during the prenatal period reported a strong correlation with cognitive and motor development were associated with a stronger correlation of cognitive and motor development in their children, and reported higher levels of stress and anxiety earlier in pregnancy. However, one could question the validity of this report because the information was self-reported.
Another important part of this study was looking at how these effects occurred during different stages of prenatal development, as the “consequences of prenatal maternal stress were determined by the
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