Effects of Stress and Non-Stress During Pregnancy: The Relation Between Birth Weights

Essay by Spyce255University, Bachelor'sA, March 2006

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Chronic stress during pregnancy may lead to premature births, negative health and behavioral problems for the child. There is a considerable amount of data indicating that prenatal maternal stress may effect the birth weight of a baby and may cause further problems down the road. Women who were more optimistic delivered infants who were considerably heavier, whereas women who were more stressed had babies who weighed less. These results show that there is a steady trend in the relationship between stress during pregnancy and the overall health of the baby. This experiment was conducted from an independent t test. In this study, ninety-nine women were surveyed who had experienced more stress than the average person during their pregnancy and others who had not, in addition to their babies' birth weights being recorded. In order to create even samples, some results between the two relations were purposefully left out. Throughout this course, we have studied statistical factors that would aide us in conducting a null hypothesis.

If my predictions prove to be true, we will fail to reject the null hypothesis, and conclude that there is a strong correlation between women who had been stressed during pregnancy and the subsequent premature births.

You may ask, "Why is a premature birth such a large concern?" There are many complications that may occur to the either the baby or the mother in the event of an early delivery. Not only is the weight of the baby a concern, but also whether or not he/she is healthy. Under-developed newborns have an increased chance of later health risks when they are born ahead of schedule. Infants weighing between 3.2 and 5.5 pounds at birth are five times more likely to die in their first year than an average weight baby of seven pounds...