Mother’s Pshycological State Can Be Sensed By The Fetus, According To New Study
During growth the fetus is in direct connection with his mother getting constant messages from her. It is not just about hearing her voice and her cardiac activity; the fetus also gets constant hormonal signals through the placenta.
Among these signals , mother mental state is also included according to a new study that was published in the Psychological Science Association journal.
In the last decades, researchers have demonstrated that the mother’s womb environment is a very important factor for the fetus development. Some effects are not such hard to imagine as certain drugs, drinking or smoking can lead to devastating consequences. On the other hand some effects are subtler. Several studies have found that children that were born during the 1944 Dutch famine, had an increased risk for developing health problems like diabetes and obesity. Others are subtler; studies have found that people who were born during the Dutch famine of 1944, most of whom had starving mothers, were likely to have health problems like obesity and diabetes later.
Scientists Laura Glynn and Elysa P.Davis from California study the effects of mother psychological state on the growing fetus. Pregnant women who were checked for depression after birth and before birth were recruited. Babies were also tested after birth to evaluate development status.
The study results were somehow surprising. The best development was found in babies who either had normal mothers during and after delivery or depressed during and after pregnancy mothers. What was slowing the babies from normal growth and development were changing situations like a mother who was healthy after pregnancy and depressed when pregnant.
The study has significant clinical importance. Doctors should leave a depressed pregnant woman untreated for the child’s well-being. A better approach would be treating woman who present with prenatal depression. The only problem is that depression is not included in any screening program before birth
Neurological and psychiatric disorders are the most feared consequences of long-term depression. In another study the researchers found that older children who had anxious mothers during pregnancy have certain brain structures differences. probably several years will pass until scientists will figure out what exactly happens when a fetus has a depressed mother and what are the exact long-term effects.
The researchers now believe that the fetus is actually an active participant to its development and it is constantly learning about his environment during pregnancy.