Background: Prenatal stress is known to be a potential risk factor for cognitive, behavioural and motor development that even last until adolescence. A consensus of how ‘prenatal stress’ can be measured, in which trimester of pregnancy women should be studied and whether subjective feelings of being stressed are associated with a hormonal response is still lacking. To close this gap, a prospective longitudinal study was conducted in pregnant women. Sampling and Methods: 108 subjects were asked to fill out questionnaires concerning pregnancy-related anxiety, perceived stress, marital satisfaction, critical life events and to collect salivary cortisol in each trimester of pregnancy. Results: Fear of giving birth increases until the end of pregnancy, and marital satisfaction is highest at the end of pregnancy. Perceived stress is related to a hormonal response in cortisol only in the first (r = 0.18, p < 0.10) and second (r = 0.18, p < 0.10) trimesters of pregnancy. Critical life events are linked to raised cortisol levels in early pregnancy only (r = 0.28, p < 0.01). Conclusion: Prenatal stress can be operationalized by using different subjective as well as physiological stress measures. Only in the first half of pregnancy self-report and physiological stress measures seem to be associated.

This content is only available via PDF.
Copyright / Drug Dosage / Disclaimer
Copyright: All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be translated into other languages, reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, microcopying, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.
Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in government regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug.
Disclaimer: The statements, opinions and data contained in this publication are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of the publishers and the editor(s). The appearance of advertisements or/and product references in the publication is not a warranty, endorsement, or approval of the products or services advertised or of their effectiveness, quality or safety. The publisher and the editor(s) disclaim responsibility for any injury to persons or property resulting from any ideas, methods, instructions or products referred to in the content or advertisements.
You do not currently have access to this content.