Public release date: 29-Apr-2012
Contact: Debbie Jacobson
American Academy of Pediatrics
Mom's stress during pregnancy can affect baby's iron status
Study shows maternal stress during first trimester of pregnancy puts newborns at risk for iron deficiency
BOSTON – Newborns whose mothers are under stress during the first trimester of pregnancy may be at risk for low iron status, which could lead to physical and mental delays down the road, according to a study to be presented Sunday, April 29, at the Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) annual meeting in Boston.
Iron plays an important role in the development of organ systems, especially the brain. Well-known risk factors for poor iron status in infants are maternal iron deficiency, maternal diabetes, smoking during pregnancy, preterm birth, low birthweight and multiple pregnancy.
This study, conducted by researchers from Ashkelon Academic College and Barzilai Medical Center in Israel and the University of Michigan, is the first in humans to suggest that maternal stress early in pregnancy is another risk factor for low iron status in newborns.