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Pregnancy Stress Could Cause Allergies and Asthma For Baby

When I was growing up, my grandma always told me, "Worrying will make you sick," and according to new research, worrying can also make someone else sick. There seems to be a connection between a stressed-out mom, her growing baby, and the baby's developing immune system. It turns out that stress during pregnancy could make a fetus more susceptible to certain substances, which could potentially trigger asthma and allergies down the road.

Harvard Medical School tested this theory by taking blood samples from the umbilical cords of 373 infants. They measured the level of Immunoglobulin (IgE), a chemical found in the blood that's linked to allergies, and found higher levels of IgE in babies with stressed-out mothers. That means that those moms who were worried about money, relationships, or their jobs while pregnant could have influenced the baby's developing immune system.

Of course, more research needs to be done to test other factors besides stress that could affect a baby's risk for future asthma and allergies. It's definitely an interesting concept though and proves how important it is for a pregnant woman to be healthy and happy, both physically and emotionally.


Join The Conversation
julibul julibul 9 years
IgE, mast cells, histamines! Oooh I remember my biology...
emalove emalove 9 years
Well, I already have horrible allergies...they better not get worse when I get pregnant!
kia kia 9 years
I would be interested to see more of these studies published and made readable for the public. This stuff seems intuitive to me.
aimeeb aimeeb 9 years
wack you're too funny!
jennifer76 jennifer76 9 years
In other words, research has found that listening to all the yer-gonna-hurt-yer-baby research will actually hurt your baby. Chicken? Egg? :?
runningesq runningesq 9 years
Oh great -- something else to worry about... seriously, I'm so tired of these studies which "demonstrate" that everything we do will cause our kids to be sick/ stupid/ unable to function. Obviously too much stress isn't healthy for anyone, but does anyone else think it's ironic that studies like this may CAUSE stress?!
lawchick lawchick 9 years
well, this confirms that I need to get a new job before I have kids!
wackdoodle wackdoodle 9 years
Ah ha! My severe hayfever allergies are all my mom's fault. Good to know, wish I could blackmail with this info.
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