A new study published in Paediatric and Perinatal Epidemiology showed how anxiety during pregnancy can affect the weight of newly born babies and the gestation period. Women with severe or chronic anxiety fell in the group with higher risk.
Research team from the USA studied a group of women from low income households. One half were black, the other were mixed-blood. The women from that group had a few risk factors that affect pregnancy such as alcohol drinking and smoking. The researchers, however, found that a mother’s anxiety during pregnancy had an impact on childbirth and a baby’s health regardless of such influences as substance abuse, education or race.
Anxiety had a more dangerous impact during the third trimester. Women suffering attacks of anxiety during their third trimester gave birth to babies with lower weight compared to women who were mentally healthy. During the first and the second trimesters, anxiety reduced the weight of newly born babies significantly given the attacks were especially severe. Low level of anxiety in women during their first and second trimesters had only minor impact on the weight of newly born babies.
Researchers encourage all women suffering anxiety at any stage of pregnancy seek professional consultation. The study authors conclude that preventing heath problems in babies and grown-ups requires focusing on a mother’s health during pregnancy.
Anxiety is a psychological or psychic condition characterized by some cognitive, somatic, emotional and behavioral components. All these components trigger discomfort feelings such as fear, disquiet and confusion.
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