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Stress in pregnancy

(4 Posts)
Holly02 Sun 06-Jul-03 07:38:49

I read a newspaper article today that said women who experience stress & worry during their pregnancies could be affecting their unborn babies. Apparently the study showed that the stress hormone 'cortisol' produced by the mother during pregnancy, may cause her child to later be affected by hyperactivity, and a number of emotional and behavioural problems.

I just wonder what others think about this, and whether there is actually any evidence for this? I experienced quite a bit of stress during my pregnancy and I did wonder whether the baby would be affected in any way. As a 3 year old, he is very active but I wouldn't say he has any emotional/behavioural problems, apart from normal 3 yr old behaviour! What are your thoughts on this?

whymummy Sun 06-Jul-03 08:34:14

hi holly i had a very stressful pregnancy with dd i was still suffering from bad PND after my ds,i really wanted another child but i spent most of the pregnancy crying and shouting all the time,we also moved house and i had to deal with all the decorating on my own,with a 2 year old and then dh had the "great idea" of getting a dog,so i had to clean all the mess until the dog was "potty" trained as well,i was throwing up after cleaning the dog`s poo,dd was a handful and i blamed myself for being so stressed and sad while pregnant but she`s 3 now and she`s turned into a little angel so i`m not sure if that theory is right

Jimjams Sun 06-Jul-03 08:44:42

Most of these studies are completely flawed. There was one recently that said that stress in pregnancy was linked to autism. During pregnancy 1 I was totally relaxed, was doing a job I loved, was hapy to be pregnant, enjoying looking through magazines etc. During pregnancy 2 I was looking after a toddler, was trying desperately to get him speech therapy, was realising that he was probably autistic- was exhausted the whole time- in short pregnancy number 2 was far more stressful- and ds2 is totally NT- certainly not autistic.

What does tend to be linked to these conditions is anxiety (in the child who has them). DS1 is a very anxious child (although that wasn't obvious at all as a baby- he seemed very chilled). There is also a strong paternal family history of anxiety. Most of these studies are self scoring- ie the pregnant mother decided whether they are stressed. If you are an anxious person you are more likely to score yourself as stressed. If you are an anxious person you are more likely to produce a child with a predisposition to autism and the rest of the spectrum of conditions such as ADD ADHD etc. So in other words the genetic combination making the mother anxious, could be a contributing factor towards autism etc- it's not the anxiety itself causing the autism- its just the same combination of genes.

crazynow Mon 07-Jul-03 19:00:44

I was really stressed out with ds, dealing with a boss who was a complete d--k head and the bigger I got the worse he was. But ds is very active and a normal 3yr old.

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