We investigated whether pregnancy/birth anxiety is associated with shorter gestation while maternal chronic stress and depressive symptoms are associated with lower birth weight; we also examined whether experiencing daily uplifts prenatally may contribute to a more favorable birth outcome.
Thirty-four healthy second trimester pregnant women responded to questions regarding their experience of pregnancy/birth anxiety, chronic stress, depressive symptoms, and daily uplifts. Information on birth outcome was obtained from medical records.
Maternal pregnancy/birth anxiety, depression, and stress were unrelated to birth outcomes. Daily uplifts were associated with gestational age at birth (B = 2.0, p = 0.01), neonatal weight (B = 46.9, p = 0.00), and size (B = 10.6, p = 0.01). Our results suggest that pregnancy/birth anxiety is not associated with shorter gestation as well as depression and stress seem to not predict lower birth weight.
We expand the literature by showing that experiencing daily uplifts during mid-gestation may further fetal development.