Two new studies have revealed that by chilling out during pregnancy mums-to-be can benefit the health of their unborn baby.
The first study, carried out by researchers at the University of Sussex, found that throwing temper tantrums during pregnancy can have a negative affect on the development of babies’ hearts in the womb.
Babies whose mums were more prone to impulsive behaviour, such as door slamming, shouting loudly and throwing plates during pregnancy, were found to have less variation in their heart rates than those with calmer mums. Variation in heart rate is thought to be healthy because it shows that the body is adaptable to change.
In a second study, at Imperial College London, a quarter of expectant mums questioned felt anxious and depressed during pregnancy. The same amount also often argued with their partners. Babies whose mums were more stressed had lower birth weights, lower IQ, slower cognitive development and were more anxious than babies born to other women in the survey.
“People used to think that if something was congenital, apparent at birth, it had to be genetic,” says lead researcher Vivette Glover, professor of perinatal psychology. “In fact, it can be an in-vitro reaction of genes and environment.”
All the more reason to enjoy a pampered pregnancy!