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Can we influence the neurological development and hair cortisol concentration of offspring by reducing the stress of the mother during pregnancy? A randomized controlled trial
Año del Documento
Stress and Health, 2023.
The objective was to evaluate the effects of a stress management cognitive behavioural therapy followed during pregnancy on subsequent childhood on hair cortisol at birth and on neurodevelopment and Hair Cortisol Concentrations (HCC) at 6 months of age. The study sample included 48 pregnant women, divided into two groups: 24 women in the Therapy Group (TG) and 24 women who received standard pregnancy care (control group (CG); CG). To test the therapy efficacy, an evaluation of the HCC and psychological stress, psychopathological symptomatology and resilience was conducted before and after the treatment. The level of cortisol in their hair was obtained during pregnancy and that of their babies at birth. Six months after birth, a cortisol sample was taken from the hair and the babies' neurodevelopment was evaluated based on a Bayley-III test. The TG presented reductions in psychological stress and psychopathological symptomatology after treatment. On the other hand, the CG increased their cortisol concentrations between the pre and post intervention, remaining stable in the TG. Moreover, results showed that TG babies had lower cortisol concentrations at birth and obtained significantly higher cognitive and motor development scores at 6 months. These findings support that providing psychological care to pregnant women may not only have a benefit on these women's mental state, but may also benefit the neurodevelopment of their offspring.
Cognitive behavioural therapy
Revisión por pares
Ministerio de Ciencia, Innovación y Universidades, (programa FPU, referencia 18/00617)
Version del Editor
Propietario de los Derechos
© 2023 The Author(s)
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