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Maternal caregiving may reverse effects of stress during pregnancy on newborns


A study published in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry suggests that mothers’ sensitive caregiving after giving birth may erase some of the negative effects of stress during pregnancy on newborns.

In the study of 94 mother-infant pairs, higher levels of the primary stress hormone cortisol in women during pregnancy were associated with greater cortisol-based stress responses in infants, but only in those whose mothers were less emotionally available after birth. Other markers of stress during pregnancy did not show this association, however.

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