Impact of Mother’s Stress during Pregnancy on Infant Being Examined

Researchers at the Alberta Children's Hospital are studying the impact of mother's stress during pregnancy, both before and after the birth of baby.

The three-year study enrolls 300 Calgary women and their newborns. It is being sponsored by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Alberta Centre for Child, Family and Community Research by an amount worth $510,000.

The women are being tested for stress, anxiety and depression levels during the time they are expecting. By employing a heart monitor and series of mild stress tests, the infants will be examined when they are six months old.

The researchers would strive to examine the effect of mother's stress that is experienced by a baby in the womb, which give birth to the threat of long-term health problems. The findings would be employed to decrease adverse effects of pregnancy and impact of stress after birth.

"We'd like to be able to tell people there's things you can do either during pregnancy to reduce stress as well as post-delivery", said Dr. Gerry Giesbrecht of the University of Calgary's Faculty of Medicine.

The first participants of the study include Carolyn Hutzal and her 10-month-old daughter Kate. Hutzal suffered from stress during her pregnancy and she enrolled in the study, as she wanted to assist the future mothers manage their stress levels.