Mothers-to-be be warned! A new study has found that stressed out expecting mothers are more likely to have unruly, hot-tempered children.
Researchers discovered a strong link between mental pressures on the mother in the first months of a child's life and the youngster's behaviour when of school age, reports the Daily Mail.
AdvertisementIt is thought that high levels of stress hormones in the womb affect the delicate development of the unborn baby's brain.
The research, which tracked thousands of babies from the womb to school, found the hormones raise the odds of a child experiencing attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and other behavioural problems.
Alina Rodriguez of the Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London, and her colleagues studied more than 1,700 mothers and their children.
They found that mothers who were stressed in pregnancy, or had suffered a relationship breakdown or bereavement were more likely to suffer from ADHD and have other emotional problems, such as hot tempers.
And they found it more difficult to get along with other children.
But Rodriguez urged pregnant women not to be alarmed by the risk, saying: "It is really important to put it into perspective and to go about your business and try to relax, get support from different people and do things that make you feel good."