PURPOSE: We investigated whether pregnancy/birth anxiety is associated with shorter gestation while maternal chronic stress and depressive symptoms are associated with lower birth weight; we also examined whether experiencing daily uplifts prenatally may contribute to a more favorable birth outcome.
METHODS: Thirty-four healthy second trimester pregnant women responded to questions regarding their experience of pregnancy/birth anxiety, chronic stress, depressive symptoms, and daily uplifts. Information on birth outcome was obtained from medical records.
RESULTS: Maternal pregnancy/birth anxiety, depression, and stress were unrelated to birth outcomes. Daily uplifts were associated with gestational age at birth (B = 2.0, p = 0.01), neonatal weight (B = 46.9, p = 0.00), and size (B = 10.6, p = 0.01). Our results suggest that pregnancy/birth anxiety is not associated with shorter gestation as well as depression and stress seem to not predict lower birth weight.
CONCLUSION: We expand the literature by showing that experiencing daily uplifts during mid-gestation may further fetal development.