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A 38-year-old member asked:

Did extreme emotional stress during pregnancy cause birth defects or autism in the baby?

3 doctor answers9 doctors weighed in
Dr. Bernadette Onuoha
Psychiatry 38 years experience
Not likely: No particular cause has been associated with autism but a combination of factors may contribute. Severe emotional stress during pregnancy however may result in factors that may contribute to poor maternal health with resultant low birth and prematurity. These in turn may contribute to factors that may negatively impact a baby cognitively.
Dr. David Bergman
Maternal-Fetal Medicine 37 years experience
Stress: Streas has not truly been shown to be associated with any pregnancy issues. How stress affects the pregnant mothers sleep & eating patterns might effect fetal growth, but otherwise should not contribute to birth defects or autism.
Dr. Johanna Fricke
Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics 50 years experience
No, but a new study: Shows it's associated with an increased risk of your child's being bullied at school, oddly enough. Any thing that harmfully impacts your ability to bond with your baby or causes you post-partum depression can impact your baby's development & social interaction.

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Last updated Jan 21, 2021

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