Affiliations: [a] Department of Midwifery & Reproductive Health Research Center, Urmia University of Medical Sciences, Urmia, Iran
Urmia University of Medical Sciences, Urmia, Iran
| [c] Neurophysiology Research Center, Urmia University of Medical Sciences, Urmia, Iran
| [d] Department of Biostatistics & Inpatient’s Safety Research Center, Urmia University of Medical Sciences, Urmia, Iran
Address for correspondence: Ehsan Saboory, Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, Urmia University of Medical Sciences, Urmia 5756115111, Iran. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Abstract: BACKGROUND:The present study aimed to determine the effect of perceived stress during pregnancy on neonatal outcomes and cortisol and leptin levels in mothers and their newborns. METHODS:This longitudinal study was carried out on 110 pregnant women in Miandoab city, Iran. Mothers, who had singleton pregnancies and gestational age of 24 to 28 weeks, were included in the study. The participants were asked to fill out Cohen’s Perceived Stress Scale (PSS). The mothers were then tracked in gestational ages of 28–32 weeks, 32–36 weeks, and the time of delivery. The maternal and umbilical cord blood samples were obtained during labor in order to measure leptin and cortisol levels. RESULTS:Umbilical cortisol level was significantly higher in newborns who had meconium stained amniotic fluid than those who did not. Maternal blood leptin levels at delivery were significantly higher in the mothers whose neonates had respiratory distress, low birth weight, low head circumference, low Apgar score, and were premature than those whose neonates did not have such problems. The level of leptin in umbilical cord blood was significantly higher in neonates who had respiratory distress than those who did not. The results also showed a significant correlation between maternal cortisol levels and PSS during weeks 24–28 and the entire pregnancy. A significant relationship was observed between umbilical leptin and maternal leptin levels. CONCLUSIONS:It can be concluded that stress during pregnancy is accompanied by fetal distress. The probable reason for newborns distress may be related to increased maternal leptin levels.