DNA studies show mother's stress may show up in baby's genes - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

DNA studies show mother's stress may show up in baby's genes

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) -

Stressed out, sick, and blaming your mother? Guess what? Science says you might be right.

Recent studies conducted on mother's who were pregnant during the 1998 ice storm in Canada show women under more stress during pregnancy gave birth to children with more compromised immune systems.

Meanwhile, other recent studies also linked stressed out pregnancies to babies with high stress levels, risk for diabetes, asthma and more. 

"I think there really could be a link," said Tammy Kwikkel, a mother of six.

She said she believes stress could be in your DNA, but also believes it's much more than that. 

"It really all comes down to how you raise your kids. My youngest is eight and my oldest is 30. So I just do everything I can to not bring home certain stress issues to my kids," she said. "I've learned over the years there's some things you should say and some things you should not say. When I show them I'm calm they are calm."

Some Heartland experts we talked to say while the studies may have merit, it does not have to set the tone for your child's life. The environment and living atmosphere you provide controls a lot.

"It's really up to you," said Angela Davidson. "I was more stressed during my second pregnancy than my first, but my kids behavior really came down to my parenting skills. I learned when to back off and when to be firm. And moms really have to remember if you don't take care of yourself you're not going to be any good for your kids." 

We also reached out to pregnant moms and pediatricians.

The moms said they do yoga or do their best to keep their stress level at a minimal him during pregnancy. Overall, that leads to healthier childbirth experiences.

Doctors say it's key to choose the right doctor and birthing experience that's right for you. They also recommend mom-to-be do whatever they can to limit stress before and after the baby is born, as well as into the child's life. 

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