Pregnancy anxiety and comorbid depression and anger: Effects on the fetus and neonate
Article first published online: 7 MAY 2003
© 2003 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
Depression and Anxiety
Special Issue: ANXIETY DISORDERS IN WOMEN
Volume 17, Issue 3, pages 140–151, 2003
How to Cite
Field, T., Diego, M., Hernandez-Reif, M., Schanberg, S., Kuhn, C., Yando, R. and Bendell, D. (2003), Pregnancy anxiety and comorbid depression and anger: Effects on the fetus and neonate. Depress. Anxiety, 17: 140–151. doi: 10.1002/da.10071
- Issue published online: 7 MAY 2003
- Article first published online: 7 MAY 2003
- Manuscript Received: 15 APR 2002
- Manuscript Accepted: 1 JAN 2002
- NIMH. Grant Numbers: MH 00331, MH 46586
- Johnson and Johnson
One hundred sixty-six women were classified as experiencing high or low anxiety during the second trimester of pregnancy. The high anxiety women also had high scores on depression and anger scales. In a follow-up across pregnancy, the fetuses of the high anxiety women were noted to be more active and to experience growth delays. The high anxiety mothers' high prenatal norepinephrine and low dopamine levels were followed by their neonates having low dopamine and serotonin levels. The high anxiety mothers' newborns also had greater relative right frontal EEG activation and lower vagal tone. Finally, the newborns of high anxiety mothers spent more time in deep sleep and less time in quiet and active alert states and showed more state changes and less optimal performance on the Brazelton Neonatal Behavior Assessment Scale (motor maturity, autonomic stability and withdrawal). These data highlight the need for prenatal intervention for elevated anxiety symptoms during pregnancy. Depression and Anxiety 17:140-151, 2003. © 2003 Wiley-Liss, Inc.