According to a new study, pregnant women who take SSRI antidepressants have lower risks of certain pregnancy complications. However, there is an increased risk of neonatal problems associated with mothers who take the medications.
Stress and depression during pregnancy can affect the fetus' sex and increase the risk of preterm birth. Mothers who experienced physical and psychological stress during pregnancy were less likely to have a baby boy. During pregnancy, the fetuses of stressed mothers had reduced heart rate movement coupling, indicating slower central nervous system development.
Preterm babies who were fed maternal milk during and after a stay in NICU had greater academic achievement, higher IQs, and reduced risk of ADHD than their preterm peers who were not fed maternal milk.
Brain connectivity at birth may impact emotional processing and social development later in childhood, especially in children born preterm. Researchers found children born preterm with a weaker uncinate fasciculus, the white-matter tract that connects brain regions associated with emotional processing, were more likely to interpret situations in a negative light.