The timing of anxiety and what type (generalized vs pregnancy-specific) may have an impact on pregnancy duration.

Anxiety during pregnancy has been associated with adverse birth outcomes such as lower birth weight, preterm births, and admissions to the neonatal ICU. In a recent study published in Health Psychology, researchers were able to shed light on perinatal anxiety and its relation to birth outcomes. Their results indicated that pregnancy-specific anxiety was associated with shorter gestation.

These results are the first to show that what type of anxiety and when it occurs may be more correlated to preterm births. The researchers analyzed when in pregnancy an expecting mother’s anxiety may have the strongest effects on the timing of labor and delivery, using a five year sample of nearly 200 women around the U.S. Study participants were followed from first trimester through one year postpartum, with six periodic visits.

Anxiety in pregnancy is a common occurrence for women—even those who previously have not struggled with anxiety. At CalPsychiatry, our physicians are well-equipped in the diagnosis and treatment of mental disorders during and after pregnancy. Call or book your free consultation today.


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