While pregnant women are generally advised to practice yoga and maintain a healthy diet, looking after the state of their minds is crucial too. A study by scientists at the American Academy of Pediatrics, (AAP) has shown that stress during conception may raise the risk of iron deficiency in the child.
A group of pregnant women who were approaching their delivery dates participated in the trial. One set included women who faced exposure to rocket attacks near their residencies, during the first half of pregnancy and the second class served as controls.
After the women gave birth, they were surveyed regarding their prenatal health, including their habits and stress levels. Factors like anxiety and depression were taken note of. Subsequently, the team calculated the iron status in the newborn kids.
“Our findings indicate that infants whose mothers were stressed during pregnancy are a previously unrecognized risk group for iron deficiency. Pregnant women should be aware that their health, nutrition, stress level and state of mind will affect their baby’s health and well-being,” commented Rinat Armony-Sivan, PhD, director of the psychology research laboratory at Ashkelon Academic College.
According to what was observed, nearly 63 babies of mothers who were stressed during pregnancy seemingly carried low iron concentrations in their cord blood. This did not appear to be the case with the 77 kids born to mothers who did not face mental turmoil during conception.
Iron is an important mineral that plays a role in the development of various organ mechanisms of the body, specifically the brain. Some of the established risk factors for iron deficiency in newborns include maternal smoking, low birth weight, diabetes, premature delivery and multiple births.
Presented in the annual meeting at the Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS), this analysis essentially put forth that maternal stress could affect the child’s iron status.