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The Impact of Stress of Mother on Fetus

The following article will focus on the impact of maternal stress on her fetus. A mother with good emotional health will promote an optimal growth of unborn baby. When mother is stressed, she will affect her unborn baby’s emotional and mental health.

The following article will focus on the impact of maternal stress on her fetus. A mother with good emotional health will promote an optimal growth of unborn baby. When mother is stressed, she will affect her unborn baby’s emotional and mental health.

The following article will focus on the impact of maternal stress on her fetus.

1. Emotional stress of pregnant mothers

Studies show that emotionally affected mothers may give birth to babies at higher risk for sleep problems, digestive problems and irritability.  Pregnant mothers with stress altered the hormonal environment of the fetus which resulted in anxious children.

2. Hormones and fetus

The placenta provides a growing fetus with nutrients, water, hormones to keep the pregnancy. Malnutrition may also add to stress hormones in the mother and upset the growth of the fetus. The lack of nutrition and exposure to pollutants may drastically affect the fetus development.

Mothers’ feeling and moods are connected to hormones and neurotransmitters that go through the bloodstream and across the placenta to the growing brain of the fetus.

It has been suggested that maternal stress results in maternal glucocorticoid secretion that have negative effects on unborn baby.  Overexposure to stress hormones gets ready the growing brain to react in fight-or-flight throughout life.

On the contrary, mothers’ emphasis on joy and love submerges the developing brain in “feel-good” endorphins and neurohormones promoting a lifelong sense of well-being.  In fact, it also decreases in stress and later stress-related diseases. It offers some advantages for pregnant and laboring women.

3. Stress and fetus’s heart rate

Fetal heart rates were increased and remained high longer in expectant mothers with the highest levels of stress hormones, who reported feeling the most anxiety and the least support.

Studies show that women with wanted pregnancies, good-esteem, and plenty social support had the calmest babies, whose heart rates returned to normal in the shortest time.

4. Stress and IQ

Stress, diet, and toxins may have a harmful effect on intelligence.  A recent study reveals that genes may have less effect on IQ than previously thought and the environment of the womb may have more effect on IQ. 

Therefore, the antenatal environment is important for the growth and development of fetus. It is advisable for pregnant mothers to provide positive antenatal environment with low-stress level and well-nourishment for fetus. A positive prenatal environment refers to a loving, caring, relaxing and low-stress environment.  It promotes physical, emotional, mental and spiritual growth of unborn baby. If a mother has enough rest, food, nutrient, good coping skills and low stress level, she will provide a favorable environment for the optimal growth of her fetus.  If a mother is stressed out and unable to cope during the pregnancy, it is advisable for her to see a doctor for a referral to a counselor for counseling, emotional and social support. 

In conclusion, a good emotional health of a mother will promote an optimal growth of unborn baby. On the contrary, when mother is stressed, she will affect her unborn baby’s emotional and mental health.

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  1. Very nice article and an informative one. I had stress when I was on my family way and I know how it had affected.

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