Pregnancy is a wonderful phase in a woman's life. An expectant mother is supposed to take extra care of herself. She should avoid stressful conditions as it may adversely affect the baby's health.
Scientists believe that the children of women, who were stressed out during their pregnancy, have more chances of being bullied at school.
AdvertisementProf. Dieter Wolke and his colleagues at the University of Warwick conducted a research to assess the veracity of the statement that stressful pregnancy could have children becoming victims of bullies. The study was published in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 2012.
Professor Dieter Wolke said, 'When we are exposed to stress, large quantities of neurohormones are released into the blood stream and in a pregnant woman this can change the developing foetus' own stress response system.'
Prof. Wolke mentioned that the study is first of its kind to determine the role of pregnancy stress on the child's susceptibility of being bullied.
8,829 children were enrolled from the Avon Longtitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC).
The Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC), also called the Children of the 90s, is a long-term health research project.
More than 14,000 expectant mothers were enrolled during 1991 and 1992. The development and general health of their off-springs were followed in detail.
The affected children when confronted with stressful situations either run away or cry or become anxious, therefore, they become vulnerable to being bullied by others.
The researchers said that issues such as financial difficulty, drug abuse, alcohol addiction, maternal mental health, etc. are accountable for prenatal maternal stress.
Prof. Wolke stated, "The whole thing becomes a vicious cycle, a child with an altered stress response system is more likely to be bullied, which affects their stress response even further and increases the likelihood of them developing mental health problems in later life."
Babies Born to Stressed Mothers More Likely to be Bullied PsychCentral.com