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Can Stress During Pregnancy Lead To Autism In Kids?

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Surely, most of us would have heard about the ill effects stress can have on our health. Magazines and the internet is full of information on how stress can impair your health.

So, naturally, it is no different when it comes to stress affecting the health of a pregnant women and her unborn child.

Pregnancy in itself can be an extremely stressful period for the to-be mother and her family.

The anxiety of possible health complications, the fear of labour pain, worrying about the added responsibility once the baby is born, not to mention, the physical changes she goes through - all these reasons come together to cause a lot of stress to the pregnant women.

autism pregnancy stress

In extreme cases, where the pregnant woman is going through a high level of stress, it can lead to consequences such as miscarriages, pre-term birth, etc, which is why, it is best to stay away from stressful situations during pregnancy.

A recent research study has found that stress in pregnant mothers can lead to a developmental disorder known as autism in their children, impairing the child's cognitive and learning skills.

Let us see how stress during pregnancy is related to autism in kids.

How Can Stress During Pregnancy Cause Autism In Kids?

A group of researchers conducted a study among a group of mothers recently. They surveyed mothers with an autistic child and found that many of the mothers had gone through a significant amount of stress during their pregnancy.

The researchers opine that a gene known as 5-HTTLPR was found to be higher in the mothers who experienced high levels of stress during their pregnancy.

This gene is known to be responsible for the development of autism in some children.

Autism is a learning and developmental disorder in which a child's cognitive functions become impaired, leading to a depleted quality of life.

autism pregnancy stress

Autism spectrum disorder can include a number of symptoms such as difficulty in communication, inappropriate social interactions, compulsivity, compulsive behaviour, self-harm, etc.

So, in conclusion, the researchers said that it is best for the pregnant mothers to keep themselves relaxed and stress-free, during the nine months, for the birth of a healthy child.

Read more about: pregnancy, parenting, child care, autism
Story first published: Thursday, June 16, 2016, 15:19 [IST]
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