It may seem impossible- come on, is it really possible for an expecting mom to NOT have stress? But new research could give you another reason to stress… about being stressed!

When levels of certain stress hormones were increased in pregnant mice, researchers found that while the mice ate more food, their bodies weren’t as efficient at sending glucose across the placenta to the developing fetuses. Unfortunately, this resulted in poorer fetal nutrition and decreased fetal weight.

Researchers also saw that a genes in the placenta were affected by increased levels of stress hormones. Altered function of one of these genes, called Redd1, could lead to abnormal regulation of growth and nutrient uptake in the body.

While these early studies involve mice, it’s possible that these results could also translate into humans. Could increased stress levels during pregnancy lead to decreased metabolic health in human children? Understanding the effects of stress hormones in animals might help researchers predict the effects on humans, hopefully leading to better treatments and recommendations for pregnant mothers. In the meanwhile, moms- try to come up with some creative ways to reduce stress. It can’t hurt!

Read more about this research here.

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