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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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Govt, transport entrepreneurs strike eight-point agreement

Gorkha Post

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KATHMANDU — The government and agitating transport entrepreneurs have stroked an eight-point agreement on Friday.

The government has also agreed to amend provisions of the new Criminal Code as demanded by the transport entrepreneurs.

With the agreement, the agitating transport entrepreneurs have called off their protest programs after the government agreed to address their demands.

Tanker transport entrepreneurs had been staging protest since Tuesday against provisions in the penal code, including 10-year imprisonment for accidents and life imprisonment for causing death.

Following the agreement, the ongoing fuel supply crisis is now expected to end.

The entire country has been facing short of fuel due to the disruption of fuel supply after tanker drivers went on a strike to press for their demands.

Earlier today, after nation wide fuel shortage, the Nepal Oil Corporation has decided to start rationing of fuel citing depleting stock due to inadequate supply of petroleum products.

According to the NOC, a two-wheeler will be allowed to purchase 5 liters of petrol and light four-wheeler vehicle will be allowed to purchase 15 liters of petrol.

Likwise, the state oil monopoly has urged the petrol pumps to sell maximum 50 liters diesel to short-route vehicles and maximum 100 liters to long-route vehicles.

The NOC has also urged the fuel stations to prioritise ambulances, school buses and government vehicles while selling the fuel.

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