‘Mum’s Stress can Reach Baby in Womb’, Experts Say

July 25, 2011

Babies whose mums were very stressed while they were pregnant are likely to be prone to stress as well. This condition is caused by the genetic changes in the baby’s brain brought by the mother’s stress. This notion was established in a study published recently in the journal of Translational Psychiatry. According to the study, a mother’s stress can spread to her baby in the womb and may cause lasting effect. Though researchers have not yet confirmed exactly how stress can negatively affect on the baby, it was thought that there is a high level of stress hormones that is affecting the brain of the unborn baby.

Stressed Mums are likely to have Unruly Children

Stress has been an integral part of the everyday life of people- rich or poor. Stressors are everywhere. It could be the bills, bad relationships, tight schedules, workload, personal insecurities, failures, and many more. For mums, stress is part of pregnancy. Not all mums are happy to have children at this moment in their lives. Furthermore, pregnancy brings a lot of hormonal changes which often leads to uncomfortable feelings and stressing emotions. Some of pregnant women, alongside the critical health condition, suffer from depression primarily because of their violent or uncaring partners.

One of the lead researchers of the said study, Professor Thomas Elbert of the University of Konstanz, said that ‘babies who get signals from their mum that they are being born into a dangerous world are faster responders. They have a lower threshold for stress and seem to be more sensitive to it’. The research claimed that a receptor for stress hormones seems o go through a genetic change when the mother is extremely stressed. The stress that is passed on to the unborn child may lead to mental illnesses and behavioural problems as the child grow up. Affected children also have higher chances of having ADHD.

Unhappy Mums bear Unhappy Children

The subjects in the said study were mums who had been in constant threat and violence from their husbands. It was found out that their children had some changes in their genetic structure characterized by the presence of ‘methylation’ which makes a person more sensitive to stress.

The study is not yet conclusive though. There are still other factors to be considered such as the environment where the child will grow. According to an expert on psychology of stress, Dr. Carmine Pariante, in Psychology from the Institute of Psychiatry, king’s College London, ‘pregnancy is uniquely sensitive to a challenging maternal psychosocial environment – much more than, for example, after the baby is born’. Thus, it is important that pregnant women, who are suffering from stress, be given adequate support.

For their babies to grow well, healthy, and cheerful, mums should realize that taking care of their babies begins during pregnancy.

How can they cope with stress? Share what you know. Feel free to leave a comment below and help our mums-to-be!

Prev: Hypnotherapy on Fear of Flying
Next: The Benefits Of Hypnotherapy In Cancer Care

Stay informed! FREE subscription to the NaturalTherapyForAll’s email newsletter

Your email privacy 100% protected. Unsubscribe at any time.

Social Connection
NaturalTherapyForAll.com is not responsible for the content of the published articles written by members and visitors. The views expressed in these articles are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of NaturalTherapyForAll.com. Always seek the advice from qualified healthcare professionals with any questions you may have regarding any medical condition.