Stress during pregnancy increases ADHD risk in kids

Stressful situations during pregnancy increases stress hormone, which may raise the risk of babies’ developing attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, ADHD, or cardiovascular disease in adulthood, say researchers.

When a human body is stressed, it releases cortisol, or stress hormones, to handle the higher stress. This persists during pregnancy and causes the placenta, which sends nutrients to the foetus, to give out cortisol.

A small amount of this hormone also enters the amniotic fluid, which surrounds the foetus. When the stress is higher, more hormone enters and speeds up the growth of the foetus. This may occur before organs are fully mature.

This raises the risk of the baby developing a mental or physical illness later in life. However, short-term stress situations do not have a negative effect.

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