STATES CHRONICLE – Although most recommendations are given to women who are already pregnant and they are advised to lead a healthy life and have a balanced diet so that their baby will be healthy, it turns out that women need to be careful even before getting pregnant.
According to a new study, being stressed out before pregnancy could increase the risk of birthing a low weight baby. In most people, stress hormone cortisol levels are usually high in the morning and decline through the day. However, there are people who present an abnormal pattern, having a low cortisol level in the morning which fails to decline normally during the day.
This pattern has been linked to several diseases including cancer and artery issues. A new study suggests that the abnormal cortisol levels could also be linked to the weight of the baby. In the study participated 142 pregnant women from several cities in our country.
The researchers assessed the subjects’ stress levels by analyzing their blood pressure, cortisol levels and body mass index. Putting together all data, they found that the cortisol pattern of the mother can affect the baby’s birth weight.
What happens is that the levels of cortisol can lower the blood flow to the fetus which reduces oxygen and nutrients, so the fetus has a difficult time developing properly. According to data, 300,000 babies with low birth weights are born in the U.S. every year. Having a low weight and not being properly developed, means the babies have a higher risk of developing health problems.
This is why it is recommended that women who are planning to get pregnant should evaluate their stress levels and reduce them if necessary. If it is the case, they should treat depression, make sure they have family and friends support and that they’re in a healthy relationship. Physical activity should also become part of their lives as it has been proven that exercising can reduce stress levels.
In this way, women will have a healthy lifestyle which will be good both for their body and for their mind, and most importantly it will prove to be good for their future baby.
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