- Mar. 27, 2013 —
Science Daily/NIH/National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
Pregnant women who experienced financial, emotional, or other personal stress in the year before their delivery had an increased chance of having a stillbirth, say researchers who conducted a National Institutes of Health network study.
Non-Hispanic black women were more likely to report experiencing stressful events than were non-Hispanic white women and Hispanic women. Black women also reported a greater number of stressful events than did their white and Hispanic counterparts. This finding may partly explain why black women have higher rates of stillbirth than non-Hispanic white or Hispanic women, the researchers said.
"We documented how significant stressors are highly prevalent in pregnant women's lives," said study co-author Marian Willinger, Ph.D., acting chief of the Pregnancy and Perinatology Branch of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), one of two NIH entities funding the research. "This reinforces the need for health care providers to ask expectant mothers about what is going on in their lives, monitor stressful life events and to offer support as part of prenatal care."