Proof that stress in pregnancy is bad?

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Proof that stress in pregnancy is bad?

Postby kerisue » Thu May 12, 2011 01:06 pm

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21550175

Article Title: Distress conditions during pregnancy may lead to pre-eclampsia by increasing cortisol levels and altering lymphocyte sensitivity to glucocorticoids.

The abstract talks a lot about what *may* happen when you're stressed and pregnant, but doesn't mention any particular study. So is this just the authors' theory? Does anyone have access to the full article? I wonder if it would clarify. I worry because my job is high stress but there's nothing I can really do about it- I need to have an income and health insurance!
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born June 2010 @ 24 wks. gestation due to my severe PE and CHF
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Re: Proof that stress in pregnancy is bad?

Postby caryn » Fri May 13, 2011 09:47 pm

This is from a bottom-tier journal - Medical Hypotheses - devoted to publishing stuff that is *entirely hypothetical*. Sometimes it makes for interesting reading, but it is entirely untested. The guidelines for authors say:

The purpose of Medical Hypotheses is to publish interesting theoretical papers. The journal will consider radical, speculative and non-mainstream scientific ideas provided they are coherently expressed.

Medical Hypotheses is not, however, a journal for publishing workaday reviews of the literature, nor is it a journal for primary data (except when preliminary data is used to lend support to the main hypothesis presented).


So no, there is no support whatsoever here for the idea that stress causes preeclampsia!
Science! The articles you don't want to miss:
The Preeclampsia Puzzle (New Yorker) and Silent Struggle: A New Theory of Pregnancy (New York Times)
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Re: Proof that stress in pregnancy is bad?

Postby catherine » Sat May 14, 2011 07:43 am

Kerisue I don't think that it's an idea that is well supported by the research that has actually been done KWIM? I share Caryn's view of the journal BTW.

Stress comes in several flavors. There's the physiologic stress of being pregnant which may be added to by chronic hypertension. In my mind this is the equivalent of driving from one side of the country to the other in your car. So, old or new, to make it easy you get it going as well as you can and plan the route carefully. If you need to stop on the way to fix something or let the engine cool.... That's why there are mechanics.

Emotional stress, is I think, a different issue. Last time I got pregnant I wasn't trying and was barely a year out from the previous train wreck. Although all the bruising was go you still see the needle marks on my arm and neck, and the ugly lump from where they placed a drain beside my c-section incision. I cannot begin to tell you how scared I was....and that was before the baby really started to grow! From the moment I felt her kick until about 28 weeks, all I thought about was if it would happen again...black middle of the night, heart-pounding fear. I felt permanently clenched against the expectation od disaster. I hadn't had any warning or warning signs before just boom out of the blue in just one day. So every day that passed was a win, but no predictor of the next. The whole time........115/70.

I don't think that kind of stress causes preeclampsia, it just makes it hard to enjoy your pregnancy and to relax. It can probably be managed appropriately in lots of ways. I prescribed ice-cream and lots of escapist novels so I could get the heck out of my head.
Mom to Finn, Lucy (HELLP syndrome) and Chloe
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Re: Proof that stress in pregnancy is bad?

Postby kerisue » Sat May 14, 2011 09:47 am

Phew! Thanks, I wish they wouldn't scare me with their untested hypotheses.
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Re: Proof that stress in pregnancy is bad?

Postby caryn » Sat May 14, 2011 05:09 pm

I know some people are arguing that that journal should no longer be listed in Biomed, because the articles in it are not peer-reviewed, but more people run across it now that we have internets and quite reasonably think that hey! it's listed in the Official Thing! it must be valid!

The whole *point* of authorities is supposed to be that stuff gets vetted. Why that's fallen down here I'm not entirely sure. I remember reading, though, an article published in this journal advancing the possibility that high heels caused schizophrenia. So, yeah.
Science! The articles you don't want to miss:
The Preeclampsia Puzzle (New Yorker) and Silent Struggle: A New Theory of Pregnancy (New York Times)
Looking for recent articles and studies? Lectures from researchers?
A chance to participate in research? For us on Facebook or Twitter?

Caryn, @carynjrogers, who is not a doctor and who talks about science stuff *way* too much
DS Oscar born by emergent C-section at 34 weeks for fetal indicators, due to severe PE
DD Bridget born by C-section after water broke at 39 weeks after a healthy pregnancy
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Re: Proof that stress in pregnancy is bad?

Postby sam10 » Sun May 15, 2011 01:54 pm

I have a high-stress job and I can't do much about it other than leave if I don't want to be exposed to it. Also worried about it I asked my MFM about the relation between stress and preeclampsia and pregnancy in general. I have been told that no research to date confirms that stress influences, nor causes PE. This excludes extreme situations like the death of a spouse or similar.
~Julija (40)
MC 3/2009 and 3/2011
Henry (1/1/2010-1/7/2010) - forever loved and missed; severe PE with Hellp; partial placental abruption, classical c-section at 25.6 weeks
Matilda (Nov. 2012, born at 35.4 weeks) - severe PE


Our pain has been put into words, placed into empty cradles, to remember that all our babies lived, that they mattered and always will. - Field of Cradles http://www.fieldofcradles.org/
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Re: Proof that stress in pregnancy is bad?

Postby laura » Mon May 16, 2011 10:05 pm

You know they haven't thought through it-- had that been the case there are SO many ways it would have shown up in prevalence rates- would we see more in homeless women? Unemployed women looking for work? They're pretty stressed, right? Babies born after parents have separated? Moms who have kids with fetal alcohol syndrome? I've never even heard of a correlation, much less anything to suggest that there is causation. Bah. I seem to even remember at one point seeing one of our Experts posting about stress not being a cause, specifically telling moms not to feel guilted about it. I'll see if I can find it!
Mom to Allie (1998, severe PE)| Camille (2003, oligohydramnios )|the Dude (2007, chronic hypertension)
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Re: Proof that stress in pregnancy is bad?

Postby jean » Thu Aug 25, 2011 09:47 pm

Laura, did you ever find anything? My work stress has been SO bad lately...ppl not working well with me because of my condition, being high risk this pg. It has left me in tears the past 2 days, and in turn makes my baby upset. I really hope this stress does not cause problems for us in this pregnancy, because I don't know what I can do about it other than quit my job (and I can't afford to do that). (And this stress is def. warranted. and not just in my head- my family cannot believe how much of jerks ppl are being)
Our first son was born and passed in Feb of 2010. Born at 29 weeks due to HELLP and passed due to NEC. We miss him every day. :~(

Our second son was born at 39 weeks gestation in Nov of 2011. No HELLP or pre-e! Took LDA starting at week 12 and went off of it at week 38!

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Re: Proof that stress in pregnancy is bad?

Postby caryn » Fri Sep 02, 2011 00:40 am

Laura was probably thinking of this: viewtopic.php?f=19&t=9447
Science! The articles you don't want to miss:
The Preeclampsia Puzzle (New Yorker) and Silent Struggle: A New Theory of Pregnancy (New York Times)
Looking for recent articles and studies? Lectures from researchers?
A chance to participate in research? For us on Facebook or Twitter?

Caryn, @carynjrogers, who is not a doctor and who talks about science stuff *way* too much
DS Oscar born by emergent C-section at 34 weeks for fetal indicators, due to severe PE
DD Bridget born by C-section after water broke at 39 weeks after a healthy pregnancy
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Re: Proof that stress in pregnancy is bad?

Postby MissingMolly » Wed Nov 30, 2011 04:15 pm

This kind of stuff really irks me. So many times when a woman is having health issues, her doctor asks her if she's anxious or stressed--and then she's told to relax, as if that cures everything! This is a kind of magical thinking that is really insidious and harmful. When everything started happening with me in my pregnancy, one of my doctors asked this very thing. My response was, well, yes, I'm anxious, but I didn't start off that way, and my anxiety is not causing these things to happen. I'm anxious because these things are happening and I feel something is wrong! But I was blown off.

Heart disease is the number 1 killer of women just like it is for men, and yet, when women are having chest pain they get asked if they're anxious and told to "just relax." When men have chest pain, it is treated as an emergency (as it should be). Even today, women's ailments are written off as hysterical imaginings, and we are told if we continue to be "hysterical" it will cause disease. In other words, it's all our fault.

So many women around the world face challenging, stressful situations and have perfectly healthy babies. I really resent the implication that, because someone may have been worried or stressed or is "having negative thoughts" during her pregnancy, she killed her baby. Or that, because she thought only good thoughts and turned her home into a spa-like environment, her baby lived. Total. Bull.

I let others convince me that I was just being a worry wart and that everything would be fine. But it wasn't. If only magical thinking worked. If only I could just be Miss Sunshine or Pollyanna and have everything be okay and have my baby be alive. If only it were that easy.

Never again. Never again will I let someone blow sunshine up my butt (stole that expression from someone else) when my intuition is telling me something is wrong.

Yes, I'm angry today. I'm so angry that my baby died. I'm so angry that no one listened to me when I tried to express concern. And I'm so angry at myself that I suppressed my own voice and listened to others' instead.

Uh-oh, I better stop being angry and just calm down, otherwise I might get cancer or something. :evil:
Mommy to Molly, who was born alive on Oct. 29, 2011 at 23+3 weeks due to severe pre-eclampsia/HELLP syndrome and passed away 3 hours later. Loved and missed every minute of every day...."If love could have saved you, you would have lived forever."
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