Risk Factors pt.2
Depression and Pregnancy
When women are pregnant with feelings anxiety and depression at the same time, their emotions affect the formation of the synapses and the neurotransmitters (brain signals) secreted by them which modifies the development of the child’s brain. Under the influences of stress, the body may release stress hormones which can affect the whole life of the unborn child. Children of women who have experienced severe stress and negative emotions during both pregnancy and after birth often also have enlarged amygdaloid nucleuses which plays a role in the sense of smell, motivation, and emotional behaviour. Negative changes in the prefrontal cortex, which plays the role for complex cognitive behaviours, personality expression, decision making and moderating social behaviour, are also responsible for emotional memory. This means that the experience during the fetal period may disappear in emotional memory many years, sometimes for the rest of one’s life, and may be the cause of unexplained fears.