Washington D.C. [USA], Dec. 6 (ANI): Mothers-to-be please take note! A study has recently found, pregnant women suffering from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) have 10 times higher level of stress hormone cortisol, which may affect the health and longevity of the newborns.
This finding is very useful because it helps us know which women are most likely to exhibit the highest level of stress and stress hormones during pregnancy and postpartum."
They measured salivary cortisol at different times during the day.
Then 111 of those women gave saliva specimens until postpartum.
The difference in cortisol was greatest in early pregnancy, when levels were eight times higher in the afternoon and 10 times higher at bedtime for the dissociative group than for other women.
About 8 percent of pregnant women in the study had PTSD, a disorder that results when symptoms of anxiety and fear persist well after exposure to stressful events. About 14 percent of that group had the more complex dissociative PTSD, which was associated with higher cortisol.
"We can work with them to make pregnancy, maternity care, labor, breastfeeding and early parenting less likely to trigger stress reactions. And we can connect them to mental health services when they are ready to treat their PTSD."
The research appears in Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic and Neonatal Nursing. (ANI)