A US study conducted at the University of Michigan and involving over 800 women has revealed a link between PTSD and giving birth to a smaller than average baby.
Those who were monitored for the study were a combination of women who had suffered a traumatic event but had not yet gone onto develop psychological symptoms, and women who considered themselves to have no major stresses.
The results of the study showed that babies born to women with the anxiety disorder weighed an average of half a pound less than those born to mothers who did not suffer a trauma.
Lead researcher and Professor of Nursing at the University of Michigan, Julia Seng, explained that almost half of the women involved in the study were African American.
She went onto say that birth figures show African American mothers are 70% more likely to give birth to a premature baby than any other race.
“Therefore PTSD, which is treatable and affects African Americans more widely, may be an additional explanation for adverse perinatal outcomes.
“It is essential that outcomes are improved in this high-risk group of women. Maternity care needs to take traumatic stress into account with awareness being raised amongst health workers.” She said.
Professor Seng hopes that the research will encourage specialised care and screenings for mothers-to-be suffering from the condition.
If you are pregnant and suffering from stress it is important that you take steps to minimise this in order to ensure both you and your baby stay healthy and well. To find out about how counselling is able to help stress and post traumatic stress, please visit our fact-sheets for further information.
View the original BBC News article.