Women planning to get pregnant, or in early stages of their pregnancy are more likely to give birth to low weight babies if they endure a stressful routine, a new study suggests. Even though reducing stress is not uncommon for pregnant women to hear, scientists warn not only them but also women with plans of having children in the near future to alleviate stress from their lives.
A new study from the University of California at Los Angeles has found that stressed women could help increase the risk for them to give birth a smaller baby than usual. The stress hormone called cortisol could be a significant factor when it comes to determining the baby’s size and weight at the moment of birth.
In order to test the study’s accuracy properly, the team of researchers examined over 140 pregnant women from Baltimore, eastern North Carolina, Los Angeles and Washington D.C. Researchers measured the women’s cortisol levels by using blood pressure analyses and body mass index tests as well as they analyzed the stress hormone levels in the volunteers’ saliva, among other aspects.
Scientists recommendations for pregnant women as well as women seeking to have children to develop a healthy routine that leads them to live happier lives and relax more, according to the university’s news release. It is known for levels of the stress hormone to peak during the morning time and gradually decreasing as the day advances.
Now, researchers involved in the study found abnormal stress hormone levels could lead to not only chronic stress but also may determine the weight of a woman’s newborn baby. The findings of the research claiming that future mother’s stress levels can affect their babies’ weight from the University of California was lately published in the journal Health Psychology.
Abnormal patterns’ existing a threat
Authors of the study claim that the abnormal pattern detected while studying the patients volunteering for the research is associated to the succession of several diseases. People suffering from low cortisol levels during day-time could present a greater risk of developing diseases such as arterial issues and even cancer, said researchers.
“We found that the same cortisol pattern that has been linked with chronic stress is associated with delivering a baby that weights less at birth,” says Christine Guardino, the study’s author and postdoctoral scholar in psychology at the University of California.
Considering that over 300,000 babies are born with low weight standards in the United States, the research could provide future mothers to be more cautious for the sake of their unborn child. The study also suggests these babies present a greater risk to show health problems later in life as well as it can even increase the risk of death.