This video discusses a common emotion many expectant mothers may have during pregnancy: stress. It also considers anxiety about how prenatal stress may affect a child’s physiology and behaviour. A lot of media attention is given to the potential physical effects of stress on a fetus (low birth weight and premature birth). However, research shows that stress can also have various adverse cognitive and behavioural effects. This video discusses the effects of stress on the fetus, explains the mechanisms behind these effects, proposes effective stress-management strategies for pregnant women and explains the warning signs and coping strategies for mothers who are dealing with stress.
This video was created by McMaster Demystifying Medicine students Shara Chowdhury, Vanessa Miranda, Mishaal Qazi and Peter Tso.
Copyright McMaster University 2017
Bergman, K., Sarkar, P., O’Connor, T., Modi, N., & Glover, V. (2007). Maternal Stress During Pregnancy Predicts Cognitive Ability and Fearfulness in Infancy. Journal Of The American Academy Of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 46(11), 1454-1463.
Fride, E., & Weinstock, M. (1988). Prenatal stress increases anxiety related behavior and alters cerebral lateralization of dopamine activity. Life Sciences, 42(10), 1059-1065.
Gutteling, B., de Weerth, C., Willemsen-Swinkels, S., Huizink, A., Mulder, E., Visser, G., & Buitelaar, J. (2005). The effects of prenatal stress on temperament and problem behavior of 27-month-old toddlers. European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 14(1), 41-51.
Interpersonal psychotherapy for depressed antepartum women: a pilot study. (1997). American Journal Of Psychiatry, 154(7), 1028-1030.
King, S., & Laplante, D. (2005). The effects of prenatal maternal stress on children’s cognitive development: Project Ice Storm. Stress, 8(1), 35-45.
Kinney, D., Munir, K., Crowley, D., & Miller, A. (2008). Prenatal stress and risk for autism. Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews, 32(8), 1519-1532.
Lemaire, V., Koehl, M., Le Moal, M., & Abrous, D. (2000). Prenatal stress produces learning deficits associated with an inhibition of neurogenesis in the hippocampus. Proceedings Of The National Academy Of Sciences, 97(20), 11032-11037.
Lupien, S., McEwen, B., Gunnar, M., & Heim, C. (2009). Effects of stress throughout the lifespan on the brain, behaviour and cognition. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 10(6), 434.
Monga, S., Young, A., & Owens, M. (2009). Evaluating a cognitive behavioral therapy group program for anxious five to seven year old children: a pilot study. Depression And Anxiety, 26(3), 243-250.
Shahhosseini, Z., Pourasghar, M., Khalilian, A., & Salehi, F. (2015). A Review of the Effects of Anxiety During Pregnancy on Children’s Health. Materia Socio Medica, 27(3), 200.
Vallée, M., Mayo, W., Dellu, F., Moal, M., Simon, H., & Maccari, S. (2017). Prenatal Stress Induces High Anxiety and Postnatal Handling Induces Low Anxiety in Adult Offspring: Correlation with Stress-Induced Corticosterone Secretion. Journal of Neuroscience. Retrieved 29 October 2017, from http://www.jneurosci.org/content/17/7/2626