Stop stressing out during your pregnancy, it could make you a bad mom!

Worried about your growing belly? Stressing out about the baby shower? Debating what color to paint the nursery and frustrated that you just can't seem to make a decision? Well, all that may be adding up to chronic stress during pregnancy—which can actually prevent you from feeling the brain benefits of motherhood including enhanced learning, memory and mood.

Could lowering your stress levels really be the answer to curing postpartum depression once and for all, though?


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This particular study was done with rat mothers who were either unstressed (and thus developed those key brain cell connections) or purposely stressed twice a day during their pregnancies. Other animal studies also proved unstressed moms had better "cognitive function on a task that requires behavioral flexibility," meaning that basically, they could multitask!

The mommies that ended up stressed out during their pregnancy had less physical interaction with their babies after birth than the unstressed rats, something that the scientists think can be linked to "behavior observed in human mothers who experience postpartum depression," according to

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Honestly, it's a little scary to hear that worrying during your nine months may lead to (or be a cause of) postpartum depression. Wouldn't just THAT make you worry even more? It's kind of a catch-22! Oh well, here's hoping that more studies will be done to actually figure out why this is happening to moms—and maybe even how we can cut back on the stress.

Image via Thinkstock

Topics: early pregnancy  high-risk pregnancy  stress