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Anxiety-Low Birth Weight Link

Anxious Moms Have Smaller Babies

A new study published in the journal Paediatric and Perinatal Epidemiology found that moms-to-be with more severe and chronic anxiety during pregnancy are more likely to have smaller babies.

The researchers studied a sample of low-income women, half of whom were African American and the other half Caucasian. The group already had well-known risk factors such as alcohol and cigarette use. However, the authors showed that the mom’s anxiety during pregnancy impacts the baby’s birth even over and beyond factors such as drug use, education, and race.

The most crucial time they found was during the third trimester.  In the first and second trimesters, the effects of anxiety were significant only among the women with severe anxiety.

Women who are severely anxious during much of their pregnancy should be considered for anxiety-reducing interventions, the researchers concluded.

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