Literature Review

Topics: Childbirth, Pregnancy, Uterus Pages: 4 (670 words) Published: June 8, 2014


Stress Associated with Preterm Delivery
Donnita Rountree
Liberty University

Literature Review
Preterm preterm labor can lead to short and long term health issues for the mother and her infant such as immune system complications, which protects the uterus from infections (Smith, et al., 2011). Although studies are have been inconclusive on how stress effects preterm delivery, studies have shown that stress-related hormones play a role in preterm labors, as well as other health complications for the mother and child. During pregnancy, the body releases hcg hormones which contributes to the development of the unborn fetus. Although stress can be normal during pregnancy, when a pregnant mother experience high levels of stress, it causes the body to release more hormones as a threat that the body may perceive due to a reaction. As the stress level increases, the hormone level increases, as well. Stress can cause a decreased level of comfort when sleeping, headaches and migraines, and can also affect eating habits. High levels of stress can lead to improper functioning of other vital organs, such as the brain and heart. It can also cause high blood pressure and heart disease, which can lead to preterm delivery and long term health problem in the unborn child. High levels of stress can release extra hormones that may cause uterine contractions on the uterus, which leads to preterm labor (Funai, 2014). According to (Mulder, et al., 2002), “the relationship between stressful experiences during pregnancy and an increased risk of preterm delivery has been a consistent finding of independent studies for several decades”. It is also noted that “preterm uterine activity and shortened length of pregnancy result from stress during the third trimester” (Mulder, et al., 2002). In some cases during preterm delivery, the infant does not always survive. In the event that the infant does survive, they have may have the chances of being...

References: Funai, E. F., (2014). Patient Information: Preterm labor (Beyond the Basics). 26. 117-124.
Giscombe´, C.L., & Lobel, M. (2005). Explaining disproportionately high rates of adverse birth outcomes. Among African Americans: The Impact of Stress, Racism, and Related Factors in Pregnancy. Psychological Bulletin. 131 , No. 5, 662– 683.
Mulder, E.J.H., Robles, P.G., de Medinaa, A.C., Huizinkb, B.R.H., Van den Berghc, J.K., Buitelaar, G.H.A. (2002). Prenatal maternal stress: effects on pregnancy and the unborn child. Early Human Development. 70. 3-14.
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