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Stress during pregnancy affects baby’s size

Raghu Kshitiz

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WASHINGTON — Stress during pregnancy affects the size of the new born baby, a new study by the University of New Mexico has found which suggests babies are physically affected by the stress level of their mother during pregnancy.

Scientists have discovered that stress speeds up growth at the start of a woman’s term — but slows it down if it happens towards the end.

It has been previously found that adversity in the womb enhances or hampers offspring development and performance of offspring. But this new study offers the clearest explanation to date as to why there appears to be a correlation between certain mental health issues and birth weight.

Researchers from the Universities of New Mexico, Gottingen and German Primate Center, have proposed a hypothesis that largely predicts why there are highly variable patterns in the growth rates of disadvantaged offspring across 719 studies on 21 mammal species.

The findings, that appears in the Journal of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, indicate that that stress during late gestation reduces offspring growth during dependence, resulting in a reduced body size throughout development, whereas stress during early gestation results in largely-unaffected growth rates during dependence, but accelerated growth and increased size after weaning.

Lead study author Andreas Berghanel says that the idea is that prenatal stress affected an offspring in two different ways depending on the timing of the stressor during pregnancy — yielding different outcomes before birth, after birth, and after weaning.

“We found that stress during late gestation reduces offspring growth during dependence, resulting in a reduced body size throughout development, whereas stress during early gestation results in largely unaffected growth rates during dependence but accelerated growth and increased size after weaning,” Berghanel says .

Berghanel states that prenatal maternal stress late in gestation causes mothers to invest less energy in their newborn, which leads to slower growth in the womb and during infancy, but doesn’t affect growth later.

By contrast, prenatal maternal stress early in gestation additionally causes the foetus to be entirely reprogrammed to deal with a reduced life expectancy.

This new comparative study finds all of these predictions are supported in a large sample of studies that each measured the effects of prenatal stress on size and growth of newborn compared to an unchallenged control group.

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World Bank to provide Rs 16 billion to 21 municipalities

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GALKOT- The World Bank is to invest tens of millions of rupees for the infrastructure development of Baglung Municipality.

Mayor of Baglung Municipality Janak Raj Poudel said that the WB is investing approximately Rs 16 billion in 21 municipalities throughout the country, including Baglung Municipality, through the Urban Administrative Capacity and Infrastructure Improvement Project II.

The Project organized a meeting some days back with mayors, deputy mayors, the chief administrative officers and engineers of the municipalities concerned and informed them about the local levels selected for the funding and the works to be carried out under the project.

According to mayor Poudel, four municipalities in Gandaki Province have been selected for the implementation of the project. These include Baglung Municipality in Baglung district, Vyas Municipality and Shukla Gandaki municipality in Tanahu district and Putalibazaar Municipality in Syangja district.

Poudel said each municipality will get between approximately Rs 700 million to Rs 800 million after the Project allocates the budget by preparing the indices.

The road taken as the ‘Ring Road’ of Baglung Municipality was constructed under the first phase of this Project. Mayor Poudel said that the municipality will spend the fund received from the Project in the ‘pride’ projects of the municipality.

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