Pregnancy 101: De-stress over prenatal stress



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

References:

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.

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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.

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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

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