Home Page > Article > Pregnancy Stress and Daughters

Mothers who are stressed during pregnancy have daughters with more anxious behaviors as toddlers, finds a study in Biological¬†Psychiatry. Researchers measured cortisol levels in 70 pregnant women at three points during their pregnancies. Then, the researchers used fMRI to examine connectivity in the newborns’ brains at one month old. Two years later, the mothers filled out an assessment of their now-toddler children’s behavior. Overall, daughters of women who had higher cortisol levels during pregnancy showed more connectivity among sensory and emotion-related brain regions as newborns, and they had higher levels of anxious and depressive-like symptoms as toddlers. The association did not hold true for the women’s sons, however. The researchers suggest that the study could point to one possible explanation for why women are more likely than men to develop mood disorders. (Monitor on Psychology)

Women who are stressed during pregnancy have daughters at greater risk of developing a mood disorder, study suggests.

Susie Bean Gives