Apr 22, 2014

Effects of prenatal stress on fetal and child development: a critical literature review

Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews
R Graignic-PhilippeS Tordjman


Many studies have examined effects of prenatal stress on pregnancy and fetal development, especially on prematurity and birthweight, and more recently long-term effects on child behavioral and emotional development. These studies are reviewed and their limitations are discussed with regard to definitions (including the concepts of stress and anxiety), stress measurements, samples, and control for confounds such as depression. It appears necessary to assess individual stress reactivity prospectively and separately at each trimester of pregnancy, to discriminate chronic from acute stress, and to take into consideration moderator variables such as past life events, sociocultural factors, predictability, social support and coping strategies. Furthermore, it might be useful to examine simultaneously, during but also after pregnancy, stress, anxiety and depression in order to understand better their relationships and to evaluate their specific effects on pregnancy and child development. Finally, further research could benefit from an integrated psychological and biological approach studying together subjective perceived stress and objective physiological stress responses in pregnant women, and their effects on fetal and child develop...Continue Reading

  • References212
  • Citations49

Mentioned in this Paper

Corticosterone Assay
Fetal Development Aspects
Pathogenic Aspects
Biochemical Pathway
Biological Adaptation to Stress
Neuroendocrine Tumors
Entire Fetus
Glucocorticoid inhalants for obstructive airway disease

Related Feeds


Bradyarrhythmias are slow heart rates. Symptoms may include syncope, dizziness, fatigure, shortness of breath, and chest pains. Find the latest research on bradyarrhythmias here.

Auditory Perception

Auditory perception is the ability to receive and interpret information attained by the ears. Here is the latest research on factors and underlying mechanisms that influence auditory perception.

Attention Disorders

Attention is involved in all cognitive activities, and attention disorders are reported in patients with various neurological diseases. Here are the latest discoveries pertaining to attention disorders.


Autism spectrum disorder is associated with challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, and often accompanied by sensory sensitivities and medical issues. Here is the latest research.