Alina Rodriguez, a researcher from the Institute of Psychiatry Kings College London studied over 1,700 women and their children and found that mothers who were stressed during their pregnancy, or who had experienced a bereavement or breakdown in a relationship stood double the risk of having a child who was ‘mixed handed’ at the age of five.
Mixed-handed individuals use one hand for tasks such as drawing and writing and the other for actives such as throwing a ball. Not to be confused with ambidextrous individuals who are equally as proficient with both hands, mix-handed people are not.
Children exposed to stress whilst in the womb also stood a higher chance of suffering from ADHD and various emotional problems such as tempers. These children also found it difficult to interact and get along with other children
Though experts are unsure of exactly how stress can have an impact on an unborn baby, it is thought that the high levels of stress hormones in the womb affect the development of a baby’s brain.
Dr Rodriguez has stressed that pregnant women should not be alarmed by the risk and instead they should try to put their stress into perspective and continue going about their business in a relaxed manner.
In response to the findings an ADHD charity said that there has long since been a need for more support for pregnant women, espcially now as more women than ever before are having to work through their pregnancy.
‘We need to ensure that pregnant women get access to a lot more support’, commented Andrea Bilbow, of the National Attention Deficit Disorder Information and Support Service.
For information about how counselling can help to relieve stress please visit our fact-sheet.
View the original Daily Mail article.