A study in the April issue of the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology reveals that prenatal maternal anxiety, especially late in pregnancy, is associated with higher rates of asthma in children at approximately 7 years of age.
Why might this be the case? Maternal stress hormones, such as cortisol, may have a negative-feedback effect on the developing fetal adrenal glands, leading to relatively low levels of anti-inflammatory hormone production in the child.
Makes one wonder... knowing that women tend to display higher levels of anxiety than men during times of economic downturns... will the current economic crisis result in increased pediatric asthma rates a few years down the road? One can only speculate, but it certainly makes the case for prenatal yoga!