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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 23  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 12-18

Does prenatal maternal stress affect the outcome of pregnancy? A prospective study from North India

1 Department of Psychiatry, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Jodhpur, Rajasthan, India
2 Department of Psychiatry, Government Medical College and Hospital, Chandigarh, India
3 Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Government Medical College and Hospital, Chandigarh, India

Correspondence Address:
Jitender Aneja
Department of Psychiatry, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Jodhpur, Rajasthan
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jmhhb.jmhhb_55_17

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Background: The impact of prenatal maternal stress on the outcomes of pregnancy has been investigated previously but with contradictory findings. Only few studies have evaluated the association of pregnancy-specific anxiety with preterm birth (PTB) and low birth weight (LBW). In addition, minimal research in this aspect is available from low- and middle-income countries. Aim: The study investigated the association of anxiety (in general and pregnancy-specific), depression, and stress with the outcomes of pregnancy in terms of PTB and LBW. Materials and Methods: It was a prospective study in which 110 antenatal mothers in the first to third trimester of pregnancy were evaluated on perceived stress scale-14, pregnancy-related anxiety scale, state trait anxiety inventory, and Beck depression inventory. The participants underwent single assessment on these tools, and the outcomes of pregnancy were retrieved either from medical records or through telephonic enquiry. Results: The presence of pregnancy-specific anxiety, perceived stress, and depression did not affect the outcome of pregnancy. However, participants with trait anxiety were at higher risk of delivering a preterm baby (odds ratio = 4.08; confidence interval = 0.79–20.91) although the effect was small. None of the sociodemographic or obstetrical clinical variables associated with the outcomes of pregnancy. Conclusion: Although stress and anxiety were quite prevalent in our cohort, it did not impact the outcomes of pregnancy.

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