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Can Financial Stress Make Pregnant Women Deliver Smaller Babies?

Among other types of stress, financial stress haunts practically every person. The hectic lifestyles we lead and the impulsive spending we indulge in invariably bring financial stress upon us. Approximately, 40% of Americans spend more money than they earn.

Financial stress does not distinguish between men and women. People who are indebted need to repay their outstanding debts, failure to which their credit scores are affected. Recent studies reveal that pregnant women who are financially stressed have increased chances of having smaller babies. This may come as a surprise to many, but the researchers have validated their claims by studying 138 women who faced similar conditions during their pregnancy.

“When your outgo exceeds your income your upkeep is your downfall.” —Author unknown

 How Financial Stress Can Affect The Baby Size 

Earlier research had already substantiated that women with a background of low income were likely to have smaller babies, and the outcomes during birth were likely to be worse. The researchers had identified this phenomenon as pregnancy-specific distress. They also considered the concerns about labor and delivery, working after delivering the baby, paying for the baby’s healthcare, and the overall health of the baby.

The new study aimed to understand the specific factors that contribute to the increased risks. The 138 women who participated in the study had an average age of 29 and were between five and 31 weeks pregnant. These women had to complete a questionnaire to assess their mental health and the concerns they had about having the baby.

The medical records of the babies were checked after birth to understand whether the financial concerns of the mother had any effect on the weight of the baby.

The study managed to establish a link between distress during pregnancy and the weight of the baby. It confirmed that just 11 babies had low birth weight. However, for the findings to be confirmed, there is a need for further research.

 Is This A Fact Or Is It Just Another Marketing Strategy?

It is hard for an average person to understand the study, which was published in May 2017. Skeptical people can claim that this is just a marketing strategy either by pharmaceutical companies or credit card issuers.

Credit card issuers are always trying to snare fresh applicants with the hope that the applicants will spend money on the cards issued to them. They make many offers, giving applicants reward points and cash back offers on spending. Fresh applicants knowingly or unknowingly fall prey to these marketing tactics and often end up on the wrong side of the law.

It is well known that pharmaceutical companies are in the business of promoting sickness rather than provide treatments.  As such, they would definitely not hesitate to use the study to introduce new medications that specially designed for pregnancy-specific distress. After all, it would give them a fresh set of customers, translating into revenue by the billions. The study will also give healthcare professionals an opportunity to devise new methods of identifying financial stress and prescribing the freshly introduced medications to people.

“Anybody who thinks money will make you happy, hasn’t got money.” David Geffen

 Will This Study Ensure Healthy Babies For Financially Stressed Women?

The study sample included just 138 women. Even more important is the fact that the researchers have not concluded their study as completely authentic; they have said that there is a need to conduct more studies. Therefore, convincing people about the authenticity of this information is hard simply because financial stress has become a part of life.

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