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Prenatal Stress In Children

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Summary of Findings According to animal studies, data shows that maternal stress in the prenatal stage may be directly related to cognitive impairments of offspring. This study examined whether psychological and endocrinologic measures of stress during human pregnancy predicted developmental outcome of the child at 3 and 8 months of age. The method used to collect data included collecting self-reported instances of hassle, anxiety related to the pregnancy, and salivary cortisol levels in 170 women. After birth, the children were followed up with. A decline of 8 points on the scale of mental and motor development was found due to stress on the mother. According to the study, stress causes a delay in motor and cognitive ability. In addition…show more content…
The emotional state of the mother is important to monitor because it can have constant effects on the psychological maturation of the child (2003). Daily hassles, anxiety related to the pregnancy, and relationship pressure, especially in the first trimester, all play a part in the stress level of women. While pregnant, energy is shared by the mother to the baby. This means that if it stresses the mother, there is definitely stress on the baby. However, not all children are affected, and those that are, are affected in multiple different ways.
Daily hassles like losing your belongings, being stuck in traffic and in a rush were found to have more of an effect than major life changes (2003). Pregnancy related anxiety was described as worrying about pain associated with child birth, not knowing what to expect during childbirth because of inexperience, and fears of screaming or dying during childbirth. Many times women also develop a fear of giving birth to a child with birth defects, fear of losing the baby, or not having a healthy
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Depression and anxiety are also forms of stress and it is important to monitor the mother’s emotional and mental state in order to ensure a healthy baby. Prenatal stress can significantly delay the child’s development and increase risk of various health issues. Babies of the study were assessed at 3 and 8 months by the Bayley Scales of Infant Development (2003).
Reaction, Solution, or Recommendation The health of the mother before and especially during pregnancy is extremely important in ensuring the health of the child. In order to reduce stress in the prenatal stage, it is imperative to have help. Single women are more than likely affected by more stress while pregnant due to there being pressure on her and little to no support from the father. Furthermore, relationship stress is a reality for many women, and even more so in abusive situations. Thousands of women get pregnant by men that abuse them in various ways, which will stress the baby out. The key to reducing prenatal stress is to lessen the workload, eat healthy, exercise, and have love and support throughout the gestation period. Everyone deals with stress, but it has to be monitored more closely while pregnant especially since it is proven to affect the baby’s cognitive and motor
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