By BSc, MSc (embryologist).
Last Update: 05/23/2014

The mother’s state of mind during pregnancy has an impact on the development of the baby, a study reveals. This is not the first study revealing that the chemicals released by the pregnant mother’s body are directly transported into the womb, affecting the unborn baby. Thus, for instance, negative thoughts can increase fetal stress levels.

A bond between the mother and the fetus is created while the fetus is growing and developing in the womb. Just as feelings of joy, affection and cheerfulness can make the baby happy, depression and anxiety can impact the baby’s health.

The different sections of this article have been assembled into the following table of contents.

How do your emotions affect the baby?

New research reveals that the development of the baby-to-be can be easily affected by not only the physical health state but also the state of mind of the mother. They outline that low birth-weight may be due fundamentally to the psychological state of the mother, and other factors such as those related to nutrition or the socioeconomic status are just secondary issues.

The psychological state of the mother is important, since pregnant women suffering from depression or anxiety are more likely to have children with low birth-weight. These babies are more prone to develop diseases which could be fatal in these countries.

Depression and low birth weight

Another research involving the participation of 720 women on the third quarter of pregnancy was conducted simultaneously. The weight of their children was assessed once they were born. Out of this amount of pregnant women, 26% suffered from anxiety and 18% from depression.

The study showed that women suffering from depression and anxiety had more chances for giving birth to low birth-weight children. In view of these results, researchers have suggested the need for mental health treatments in order to diminish the child mortality rate.

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Authors and contributors

 Cristina Mestre Ferrer
Cristina Mestre Ferrer
BSc, MSc
Embryologist
Bachelor's Degree in Biological Sciences, Genetics & Human Reproduction from the University of Valencia (UV). Master's Degree in Biotechnology of Human Assisted Reproduction from the UV and the Valencian Infertility Institute (IVI). Embryologist at IVI Barcelona. More information about Cristina Mestre Ferrer

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