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A&M research finds stress in pregnant women can hijack their body's normal adaption to pregnancy

Pregnant
Posted at 4:12 PM, May 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-26 12:24:31-04

COLLEGE STATION, TX — Texas A&M research finds, stress in pregnant women can hijack their normal adaptation to pregnancy.

Early outcomes show evidence that while the maternal brain reorganizes to prepare for pregnancy, stress can make the brain more reactive to neutral stimuli.

And cause anxiety to become generalized...

Even after giving birth.

The study also found that strong social support can reverse the effects of stress.

"If mom had the perception that she had an adequate social support network, her neural functioning to those emotional relative to neutral pictures just looked exactly how we expected it to look, it looked the same as women who are not pregnant, looked the same probably as how yours or mine would look," shared Rebecca Brooker, associate professor at Texas A&M.

"It was only when mom was perceiving that she didn't have adequate levels of social support that we saw those kinds of irregular patterns of brain activity."

Brooker also says supporting moms-to-be has a practical benefit, it's one of the easiest and most inexpensive ways to reduce their stress.

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