A new study has found that a woman’s stress hormone levels, even before conception, can have an impact on their baby’s birth weight.
According to reports, researchers looked at 142 female participants and their levels of the stress hormone called cortisol.
Dr. Christine Guardino explained that she and her team found that those with “the same cortisol pattern that has been linked with chronic stress is associated with delivering a baby that weighs less at birth.”
While this isn’t entirely a new link, the study is the first to find that there is evidence that a woman’s cortisol pattern before conception can also impact on the weight of her baby.
Professor Dunkel Schetter said that the study highlights the importance of pre-conception health.
She explained in the ‘Health Psychology’ journal: “Women should treat depression, evaluate and treat stress, be sure they are in a healthy relationship, be physically active, stop smoking and gather family support.
“All of the things that create an optimal pregnancy and healthy life for the mother should be done before getting pregnant.”