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Pregnant Women's Brains Show Troubling Signs of Stress, but Feeling Strong Social Support Can Break Those Patterns

Medical Xpress

Photo: Tristin Nyman and Rebecca Brooker

Even before the pandemic, there was plenty for expectant mothers to worry about. Pregnant women must withstand a barrage of arguably well-intentioned, but often hyperbolic, warnings about their health and what's to come, including concerns about everything from what to eat, to what to wear, to how to feel. Health professionals know that mothers-to-be experience predictable increases in anxiety levels before infants are born. Maternal mental health has been steadily deteriorating in the U.S., particularly among poor and minority women.

The calls to "be afraid, be very afraid" are, of ...