New Study Suggests That Prenatal Stress May Be Linked To Toddlers' Behavioral Problems

The emotional health of the mother and father during pregnancy have a direct effect on the child's emotional health.

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Experiencing stress during pregnancy is very common. Women are dealing with a lot of changes and their bodies are going through a really complicated task. It is hard making a human being! Pregnant women may be stressed out about finances, the thought of being a mother, or how they are going to handle all of those late nights. Plus you add the stress that mothers have about having a healthy pregnancy. Then once you add all of those extra hormones it is just a mess. A new study has shown that women who experience stress during pregnancy can impact their unborn baby. Pregnant women who have stress during pregnancy may lead to behavior problems in their children as toddlers. In fact, the study even dives deeper and shows that not only does the mothers emotional health impact the child, but the fathers as well! The new study can predict two-year-olds behavior by the emotional struggles of the mother and the father.

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The team of researchers, from the Universities of Cambridge, Birmingham, New York, and Leiden have teamed up to learn about the emotional stress that the couple has during pregnancy and how it affects the children. The studies findings have shown that there is a need to focus on the emotional health of couples before and during the prenatal state. This is the first study to focus on not only the mother's emotional health but the emotional stability of both the mother and the father with regards to the outcome of the child's behavior issues.

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This study is essential because it is important to show that the emotional health of the child is depended upon both the mother and the father. To improve the health of the children, we need to first focus on the health of the parents. Lead author, Professor Claire Hughes from Cambridge's Centre for Family Research, said that they shared their findings with National Childbirth Trust (NCT). They encourage the NCT and other organizations to improve the support that they give to expectant parents.

The study found that mothers have a direct impact on a child's emotional health. The researchers found that when the mother suffered from stress and anxiety in the prenatal period were more likely to see their child display behavior problems such as temper tantrums, restlessness, and spitefulness. The researchers also found that two-year-olds were more likely to exhibit emotional problems, including being worried, unhappy and tearful; scaring easily, or being clingy in new situations if their parents had been having early postnatal relationship problems.

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