Pregnancy, Stress & Asthma

Pregnancy and StressSwollen feet, odd cravings, increased sense of smell, irritability – all are things that can be associated with pregnancy. And while the list of things you should avoid generally gets a little longer during pregnancy, most things that can have negative health effects in general should also be avoided during pregnancy. Previously, I've written about increased risk of acute asthma from smoking during pregnancy, but a study to be revealed at the annual European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology conference in Switzerland will highlight the link between increased stress and the development of asthma and eczema.

_In general, excess stress can lead to a whole host of problems that can have serious health consequences. From physical appearance to how your body functions, too much stress can greatly reduce a person's lifespan.

_Pregnancy can be, and often is, a time of great stress. In addition to all the changes a woman's body can go through, there are also emotional changes. Added stress can come from trying to prepare the house for the new arrival or result from work related issues and even changes in personal relationships with friends, family and coworkers. In addition to the standard problems stress can cause the body, for women who are pregnant, there may be additional incentive to reduce stress levels.

_Japanese researchers at the conference will present the results of a recent study that begins to show how stress can provoke reactions in the child, particularly after birth. These include asthma and atopic eczema during the first eight months of life.

_Previous research has shown that stress during pregnancy, much like many things the expectant mother goes through, can have negative impacts on the unborn child. The most common of these effects are premature birth and low birth weight.

_While the full results of this study will be presented during the conference, early indicators are that the results will be just a few more reasons to try to reduce and manage stress during pregnancy.


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