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Pregnancy Stress

Wednesday, July 21, 2004
An article in Monday's Los Angeles Times reported on two recent studies involving the effects of maternal stress on the developing baby.

One study followed 53 women who were pregnant during the 1998 ice storm in Quebec. The researchers found a link between the women's self-reported stress levels and the performance of the children that they subsequently gave birth to on language and intelligence tests at age two.

The second study followed a group of 71 Belgian women throughout their pregnancies and found a link between high stress levels between the 12th and 22nd weeks of pregnancy and childhood behaviour problems at age 8. What the researchers weren't able to determine was whether the types of women who tend to be highly anxious during pregnancy also tend to carry the genes for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. That'll have to wait for another study.

The takeaway message from these two studies is this: anything you can to minimize stress during pregnancy is good for both you and your baby, so don't be afraid to treat yourself to a manicure, pedicure, trashy novel, or whatever it takes to pamper thyself. And whatever you do, don't get stressed about getting stressed. That's counterproductive, after all.

| posted by Ann D @ 12:52 PM