Isabel Rangel Baron: Resilience Protects from the Negative Effects of Stress During Pregnancy

A study from the University of Granada (UGR) indicates that resilience, which is a set of resources used to face adversity and stress, protects against side effects from pregnancy stress.

Researchers from the Behavior, Mind, and Brain Research Center, and the Faculty of Psychology, from the same college, analyzed, for the first time, the protective roll of resilience in pregnancy. They studied the psychological state of the mother, and the cortisol levels in the hair, which is a new procedure to analyze objectively the amount of cortisol and hormone stress produced over the last few months of gestation.

A total of 151 pregnant women were studied during the third trimester and after giving birth. Psychological variables related to stress in pregnancy and levels of cortisol in the hair were also used.

When comparing pregnant women with a high level of resilience with pregnant women with a low resilience level, researchers found that more resilient pregnant women perceived themselves as less stressed, they had less worries related to pregnancy, and, overall, a better psychological wellbeing.

Moreover, after giving birth they also felt less symptoms of postpartum depression. The analysis of cortisol showed that more resilient pregnant women also had the lowest levels of stress hormone.

According to the results, it can be concluded that resilience has an important roll in protecting against the negative effects of stress, in both a psychological and a biological level, which can happen during pregnancy and after giving birth

It is important to highlight that the data of the results suggest the protective roll of resilience during pregnancy can have on the baby’s health, said experts.

Nevertheless, researchers pointed out they have not performed tests regarding resilience on children or any other group of people, which leaves an open path for future researches.

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