How Stress Can Affect Prenatal Development

Topics: Pregnancy, Uterus, Embryo Pages: 2 (473 words) Published: July 21, 2011
In my pervious posting it discusses how terotogens such as tobacco, alcohol, illegal street drugs (crack/cocaine), prescriptions and over the counter medications contributes to deformation of the fetus with pregnant women. There are psychological terotogen know as stress that induce the same damage to the fetus with pregnant women. Demanding jobs, financial worries, broken relationships or even school work with deadlines (sounds familiar?) are common psychological terotogens that contributes to stress in individuals. Stress impacts the development and growth of the fetus during the prenatal process and after the birth of the child that might persist into adulthood and cause more complications. Stress is an individual’s physical and mental reaction to the environment demands or pressures. Stress is mediated by cortical, a hormone that is released from the adrenal cortex. This increases the amount of glucose in the body while under stress. A pregnant woman excessive cortisol will get to the fetus in the womb and elevate the child average blood pressure forever. In adulthood this child, is likely to suffer from high blood pressure and damaging the fetus developing brain that can cause problems such as perception, thinking, and memory ( Selye 1956). It is also said that stress reduces the body’s immune response; therefore vitamin supplementation can be helpful in counteracting the depletion. Dieting is also important, coffee and other caffeinated beverages in high doses produce jitteriness, restlessness, anxiety and insomnia. High protein foods from animal sources elevate brain levels of dopamine and norepinephrine, which are associated with high levels of anxiety and stress. Whole gains promote production of the brain neuro-transmitter serotonin for a greater sense of well-being (Clark 1997). Stress in individuals results from interaction between individuals and their environment that perceived as strenuous or exceeding their adaptive capacities and treating...

References: Broderick, P. & Blewitt, P. 2010 The Life Span: Human Development for Helping Professionals Pearson (3rd Ed.)Publishing Upper Saddle River, New Jersey
Selye, Han, MD.(1956). The Stress of Life. New York, Toronto, and London: McGraw-Hill.
Clark, R. B.(1997). "Psychosocial Aspects of Pediatrics & Psychiatric Disorders." In Current Pediatric Diagnosis & Treatment (William, W. Hay Jr., et al). Stamford, CT: Appleton & Lange (original work published 1988).
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