Friday, 23 November 2012

Claims that Pregnancy Stress Will Make Your Baby's Life Hard

Another day, another headline from the Daily Mail. While the media is often a great resource of information for mums-to-be, sometimes the way in which studies are interpreted can be misleading, and stressful.

One recent headline that needs to be taken with a pinch of salt is the one that claims mums who are stressed during pregnancy may be setting their children up for a life of servitude to bullies. Ultimately, stress is something that cannot be avoided; whether it comes in the form of other children, a sudden and unexpected event, or worries at work, many expectant mums cannot avoid the S word.

Worrying about stress, and the consequences it may have later, can be unduly stressful in itself. According to NHS Behind the Headlines, the study used by the Daily Mail focused on reported family adversity during pregnancy, and the risk of bullying between the ages of 7 and 10. Clearly, it is difficult to pin point the existence of such a link, as well as any potential biological factors. The interpretation of stress in pregnancy being a risk factor for bullying, is very loose indeed.

For further information, read the NHS response.