Stressed pregnant women more likely to have children with personality disorders, study finds

Stressed pregnant women more likely to have children with personality disorders, study finds

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MUMS-TO-BE who suffer stress in pregnancy are more likely to have kids with personality disorders.

Mild to moderate pressure triples the risk of offspring developing a condition before the age of 30, a study found.

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Children had almost 10 times the risk of developing a personality disorder if their mother suffered severe maternal stress[/caption]

There was almost ten times the risk in those whose mothers suffered severe maternal stress.

Researchers said it may be because the developing brains of children could be affected by stress in pregnancy.

Their findings held true even when they took into account whether or a mum-to-be smoked, felt down or had a history of mental illness.

Researchers quizzed 3,626 Finnish women on their mental health in pregnancy. Of the babies born, 40 developed a diagnosed personality disorder.

Other factors could have contributed such as personal trauma or sexual abuse, they added.


Ross Brannigan, of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, said: “This study highlights the importance of providing mental health and stress support to pregnant women . . . during the antenatal and postnatal period.”

Dr Trudi Seneviratne, of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, said NHS England had recently improved access to mental health services for mums during pregnancy and shortly after.

She said: “The findings show how important it is . . . to continue.”


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