Second hand stress from a partner could cause premature births, a study has revealed.
The mental health of the mother has been known to affect the time of the birth, and depressed women are at a higher risk of premature births, but the new study, looking at data on 350,000 births, says that depression in the partners of pregnant women can also increase the risks of premature births.
It highlights the ways in which stress can be passed from person to person, as well as the dangers of becoming stressed out while pregnant.
The verbal and non-verbal signs that those around you give out can affect your own health. In a workplace or family environment, stress can be passed from person to person by verbal and non-verbal means.
In fact, it has been theorised by some that we may even be able to smell stress on others, and that the effect is catching and can cause our bodies to release the stress hormone cortisol.
For those going through pregnancy, a lot of emphasis is put on physical health (for example, not drinking while pregnant) and, although there are a lot of support groups and mothering groups available to offer support and help, we shouldn’t forget about mental health too.
Meditation while pregnant can help keep a mother healthy, and therefore keep the new baby healthy. In fact, mindfulness training for both mother and partner would be hugely beneficial in a situation where second hand stress is evident, helping both partners to relax and manage their stress.