Friday February 21, 2020

Physical and Psychological Stress during Pregnancy may Affect Baby’s Sex

About 17 per cent of the women were psychologically stressed, with clinically meaningful high levels of depression, anxiety, and perceived stress

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Physical, Psychological, Stress
For the findings, published in the journal PNAS, the research team examined 27 indicators of psychosocial, physical and lifestyle stress collected from questionnaires, diaries, and daily physical assessments of 187 otherwise healthy pregnant women, aged between 18 to 45. Pixabay

Pregnant women experiencing physical and psychological stress are less likely to have a boy, says a new study.

“Stress can also affect the mother’s immune system, leading to changes that affect neurological and behavioural development in the foetus,” said study leader Catherine Monk, Professor at Columbia University Vagelos College in the US.

“What’s clear from our study is that maternal mental health matters, not only for the mother but also for her future child,” Monk said.

For the findings, published in the journal PNAS, the research team examined 27 indicators of psychosocial, physical and lifestyle stress collected from questionnaires, diaries, and daily physical assessments of 187 otherwise healthy pregnant women, aged between 18 to 45.

Physical, Psychological, Stress
Stress can also affect the mother’s immune system, leading to changes that affect neurological and behavioural development in the foetus. Pixabay

About 17 per cent of the women were psychologically stressed, with clinically meaningful high levels of depression, anxiety, and perceived stress.

Another 16 per cent were physically stressed, with relatively higher daily blood pressure and greater caloric intake compared with other healthy pregnant women.

The majority (nearly 125) were healthy.

The study suggested that pregnant women experiencing physical and psychological stress are less likely to have a boy.

Also Read- India’s Ties with Bangladesh at their Peak

The sex ratio in the physically and psychologically stressed groups favoured girls, with male-to-female ratios of 4:9 and 2:3, respectively.

According to the researchers, physically stressed mothers, with higher blood pressure and caloric intake, were more likely to give birth prematurely than unstressed mothers.

Psychologically stressed mothers had more birth complications than physically stressed mothers, the study said.

An estimated 30 per cent of pregnant women report psychosocial stress from job strain or related to depression and anxiety.

Physical, Psychological, Stress
What’s clear from our study is that maternal mental health matters, not only for the mother but also for her future child. Pixabay

Such stress has been associated with increased risk of premature birth, which is linked to higher rates of infant mortality and of physical and mental disorders, such as attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder and anxiety, among offspring.

Also Read- Severe Sleep Apnea Linked to Vision Loss in Diabetic Patients

When social support was statistically equalised across the groups, the stress effects on pre-term birth disappeared, the study added. (IANS)

Next Story

Know About the Various Sleep Disorders

Having trouble sleeping? It could be a sleep disorder

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Sleep Disorders
It is essential in promoting heart health, muscle repair, cognitive consolidation and limits the onset of sleep disorders. Lifetime Stock

A good nights sleep is extremely significant to our health. If you do not get enough sleep, or sleep at an incorrect time, or sleep in breaks or have been diagnosed with a sleep disorder, this may cause sleep deficiency.

Quality sleep helps regulate a healthy immune system as well as hormones Ghrelin and Leptin that help balance appetite. On average, an adult should sleep for at least seven-nine hours.

The body’s blood pressure is permitted to regulate itself through adequate sleep. It is essential in promoting heart health, muscle repair, cognitive consolidation and limits the onset of sleep disorders. Due to our current lifestyles, we might face trouble sleeping at night; we tend to ignore the signs until the problem escalates.

Sleep Disorders
Insomnia is one of the most common sleep disorders. Lifetime Stock

“Sleep disorders are a group of conditions that affect the aptitude to sleep well on a regular basis. It is a common problem nowadays that coincides with a simple headache and day-to-day stress. When a patient walks in for a headache which is a common neurological disorder, 60-70 per cent of the time it is related to disrupted sleep,” says Dr Rima Chaudhari, Consultant Neurologist, Fortis Hospital, Mulund.

Insomnia is known to be the most common sleep disorder, But, there are more sleep disorders one should know of that affect health and lifestyle.

Sleep Apnoea

This is a serious sleep disorder where breathing frequently stops and starts again, this causes the oxygen level in the blood to drop. It may therefore hamper oxygen supply to the brain and the rest of the body; our body senses this occurrence and disrupts one’s sleep, to ensure that the individual breathes again. Common symptoms of sleep apnoea are snoring, wheezing for air, and waking up with a dry mouth.

Restless legs syndrome

It is a neurological disorder where a person gets an urge to move his/her legs constantly. People with this condition experience discomfort or twitchiness (ache or burning) in their legs after going to sleep. As it typically disturbs sleep, it is considered as a sleep disorder.

Sleep paralysis

Sleep Disorders
Sleep disorders are a group of conditions that affect the aptitude to sleep well on a regular basis. Lifetime Stock

Sleep paralysis is a disorder where a person is unable to move or speak when waking up and falling asleep. A person may also tend to hallucinate in this case. Patients experience a certain pressure and instant fear, as they have a feeling of being conscious but are unable to move.

Circadian rhythm disorder

This is a type of disorder which usually happens when a person’s internal biological clock is not in sync with external time cues. This sleeping pattern is usually hindered by two or more hours, especially when a person goes to sleep later at night or sleeps later in the morning. This is reported commonly amongst those who work night shifts, experience repetitive jet lag, or having an irregular sleep cycle.

Insomnia

Insomnia is a very common type of sleep disorder in which people have trouble falling and or staying asleep. They tend to sleep during the daytime, and are constantly low on energy or irritable.

Tips to get better sleep at night:

– Maintain good sleep hygiene and set a bedtime schedule

– Reduce coffee intake in the evenings and at night

Also Read- Follow These Tips For a Better Mental Health

– Decrease screen time, especially for a few hours before bedtime

– Exercise regularly

– Avoid afternoon or early evening naps if you have trouble sleeping at night

– Take a relaxing hot bath or shower before getting into bed (IANS)