Essay on Effects of Prenatal Maternal Stress on Development

Essay on Effects of Prenatal Maternal Stress on Development

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Although there are many factors that affect the development of the fetus, research on the specific effects of prenatal maternal stress and the resulting negative outcomes for the development of the fetus will be reviewed. While there is knowledge of these harmful effects in scientific and medical communities, researchers are still in the midst of discovering the results of these negative effects on human development. An overall review of the literature suggests that this topic is still relatively new in research as most of the articles make note that despite the amount of current research studies, there are still many unanswered questions.
Each second of fetal development during pregnancy is of extreme importance. This period of prenatal development is a time of change and growth with many factors affecting all areas of growth. Different stimuli having long-lasting effects on development is a process known as programming. The goal of this first article, (put the name of the article here) is to look into the idea of programming and how the influence of stress effects prenatal development. It begins with a biological approach. Looking at the role of Glucocorticoids cortisol in fetal development, the article states that they play a critical role in development and are associated with the “hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, one of the body’s major stress responsive systems.” (Davis & Sandman, 2010) This cortisol increases in mothers over the course of pregnancy and is important in brain development in the fetus. While these Glucocorticoids are important and essential to prenatal development, overexposure can lead to negative effects, including emotional disturbances in early childhood, deregulated stress responses in infa...


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...ing that there is still much to discover on how exactly maternal stress affects the fetus in prenatal development.








Works Cited

Davis, E. P., & Sandman, C. A. (2010). The timing of prenatal exposure to maternal cortisol and psychosocial stress is associated with human infant cognitive development. Child Development, 81(1), 131-148.
Markham, J. A., & Koenig, J. I. (2011). Prenatal stress: Role in psychotic and depressive diseases. Psychopharmacology, 214(1), 89-106.
Lange, A. (2011). Prenatal maternal stress and the developing fetus and infant: A review of animal models as related to human research. Journal of Infant, Child, and Adolescent Psychotherapy, 10, 326-340.
Talge, N. M., Neal, C., & Glover, V. (2007). Antenatal maternal stress and long-term effects on child neurodevelopment: how and why?. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 48(3/4), 245-261.

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