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Pregnancy Worries

Pregnancy Worries

Posted - Aug. 31, 2010 at 6:39 a.m.



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When pregnant women are feeling anxious, the stress may have an effect on their babies' health, too. Hi, I'm Dr. Cindy Haines, host of HealthDay TV.

Evidence is growing that anxiety and stress in pregnant women can have harmful effects on their babies' development. A new study in the journal Pediatrics sheds more light on the possible effects of stress during pregnancy.
In the study, 174 women with normal pregnancies answered questionnaires during their third trimester about their anxiety and stress. They also provided saliva samples so the researchers could measure their levels of cortisol, a hormone that points to increased stress. After the babies were born, the mothers reported their health problems for a year.
The researchers found that anxiety and stress in the pregnant women were linked to more general illnesses, respiratory problems, and skin problems in the babies.

According to the researchers, cortisol may play a role in these findings. When moms have unhealthy levels of cortisol, the hormone may affect their babies' immune function, leading to a higher chance of illness after they're born. IÕm Dr. Cindy Haines of HealthDay TV, with the news that doctors are reading; health news that matters to you.

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