Relation of Stress during Pregnancy with Congenital Malformations in Children Admitted in Various Clinical Settings in Lahore

  • Shahbano Jawad
  • Humaira Zafar
  • Shahid Hameed Khosa
  • Awais Mustafa


Abstract Objectives:  To study relation of stress in pregnancy and congenital malformations in newborns delivered at various hospitals of public sector in Lahore. Materials and Methodology:  Descriptive cross sectional study design was used. The study was conducted at various clinical settings of Lahore for one month. Mothers of 40 malformed neonates were taken as sample. A data collection tool (a questionnaire) was developed and the mothers were interviewed regarding various type of stress such as poor socio-economic conditions, divorce and separation, death of a close relative, post dramatic stress disorders, serious illness, catastrophic events and pregnancy related stress including history of multiple miscarriages. Questionnaire was pretested before the data. SPSS computer software was used for entry, compilation and analysis of data. Results:  Out of 40 subjects, 14 (35%) of mothers suffered from stress while 26 (65%) did not suffer from stress during pregnancy. Out of 14, 12.5% were having facial defects (cleft lip, cleft palate), 10% had neural tube defects while those with cvs, git, and urogenital defects were 7.5%. 2.5% and 2.5% respectively. Conclusion:  This study suggests that prevalence of congenital malformations has a significant association with the events causing stress in life during pregnancy. Therefore it is one of the overlooked but important aggravating factor in the development of malfunctions. Out of 40 subjects 35% of mothers suffered from stresses like poor socioeconomic conditions, separation and deaths in the family. The number of conotruncal, orofacial and neural tube defects was significantly higher in our subjects having stress. Key Words:  Congenital Malformations, Stressful Life Events, Corticosteroids.
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