Stress in pregnancy may affect a baby’s immune system

Infants born to mothers experiencing distress may be at a higher risk of developing allergic disease, according to new findings published online in Brain, Behavior and Immunity.

The study analyzed data from 403 infants and their mothers participating in AllerGen’s CHILD Study.

“We found that when mothers were depressed during and after pregnancy, their infants were more likely to have reduced concentrations of secretory immunoglobulin A (sIgA), a critical immune antibody, in their gut as compared to infants whose mothers were not depressed,” says lead researcher Dr. Anita Kozyrskyj.

The sIgA antibody is thought to play an important role in reducing the risk of allergic disease.

Read the press release