• News

"Women Who Experienced Higher Levels Of Trauma Gave Birth To Significantly Smaller Male Babies"

  • Medical Xpress
  • New York, NY
  • (September 18, 2018)

In the first study of its kind, researchers from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai have found significantly lower birth weights in male infants—an average decrease of 38 grams, or approximately 1.3 ounces—born to women who had been exposed to trauma at some point in their lives and who secreted higher levels of cortisol, a hormone related to stress, in late pregnancy. The study was published in The Journal of Pediatrics. Only women who had both a history of trauma and higher levels of cortisol secretion experienced lower birth weights; trauma alone was not sufficient. The association was also only seen among male babies. "Our study highlights that experiences prior to pregnancy can shape the health of subsequent generations through altered fetal development and pregnancy outcomes," said the study's senior author, Rosalind Wright, MD, MPH, dean for Translational Biomedical Sciences at the Icahn School, of Medicine at Mount Sinai. "Identifying a prior history of trauma and providing interventions, for example treatment for associated mood disturbances, could lead to improved perinatal outcomes that have lifelong implications for health of mother and baby," said the study's first author, Julie Flom, MD, MPH, fellow in the department of allergy and immunology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

- Rosalind J. Wright, MD, Dean, Translational Biomedical Sciences,  Horace W. Goldsmith Professorship, Children’s Health Research, Professor, Pediatrics, Critical Care, Environmental Medicine, Public Health, Pulmonary, and Sleep Medicine, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai 

- Julie Flom, MD, MPH, Fellow, Department of Allergy and Immunology, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

Learn more

Additional coverage:

Daily Mail

Medical Daily

ET Healthworld

Science Magazine

MD Linx