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Arch Pediatr. 2009 Oct;16(10):1355-63. doi: 10.1016/j.arcped.2009.07.001. Epub 2009 Aug 25.

[Effects of stress during pregnancy on infant and child development].

[Article in French]

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D├ępartement de psychiatrie de l'enfant et de l'adolescent, centre hospitalier Guillaume-R├ęgnier, 154 rue de Chatillon, Rennes, France.


The effects of prenatal stress on pregnancy and birth outcomes (prematurity, birthweight) have often been described. More recently, studies have reported the effects of prenatal stress on fetal behavior, leading to the hypothesis that there is a relationship between prenatal maternal mood and fetal behavior. Today, research is focusing on the long-term effects of stress during pregnancy. This article reviews long-term effects of prenatal stress on cognitive and behavioral development in children. In addition, the relationship between prenatal stress and the occurrence of psychopathological disorders is described. Finally, conclusions are drawn on the possible implications and perspectives of research conducted on prenatal stress.

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