“Anticipating the Stork”: Stress and Trauma During Pregnancy

Topic: Family Planning
Words: 287 Pages: 1

A baby’s development starts long before birth, but the aspect of prenatal parenting is often overlooked. Judging by my personal experience, as a mother of three, I agree that prenatal conditions do matter as each of my pregnancies was different and challenging to me. The article of my choice focuses on the theme of stress and trauma during pregnancy and explains their influence on the development of a baby.

The article stands that maternal stress could potentially result in a higher risk for poor development, mental and physical problems for babies not only in their early years but throughout their lives. Authors point, that adults with past traumatic experiences consider the transition to parenting to be difficult, especially women with past traumas. According to the text, women with traumas are most likely to get prenatal depression during pregnancy than postpartum depression. The article describes scientific evidence that shows that parents’ lifestyle is essential for the formation of a baby’s brain, as conditions of depression and stress could affect the connections between the baby’s brain regions. Not only the baby’s brain is affected by the environment, as studies show that a baby’s growth, mental state, and learning abilities could be altered by the mother’s stress, anxiety, and depression during pregnancy (Scorza & Monk, 2019). The article thoroughly describes how maternal distress affects the fetus through the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA), maternal microbiota composition, behavioral changes from sleep regimen, obesity, malnutrition, and other diseases. The authors explain the importance of prenatal parenting, stress-reducing prenatal interventions, and correct transition to parenthood. The text lists several of the prenatal interventions that, according to the authors, could make a difference: home-visiting program of nurse-family partnership, PREPP program, Lullaby Project, and MUMentum pregnancy program.


Scorza, P., & Monk, C. (2019). Anticipating the stork: Stress and trauma during pregnancy and the importance of prenatal parenting. Zero to three, 39(5), 5-13.

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