BMC Medicine, an open-access, online medical journal, recently published the results of a study indicating that stress during pregnancy may stretch across generations. Researchers subjected late-term, pregnant rats to high levels of stress, which in turn caused shorter pregnancies. Then, the researchers separated the next two generations of female rats into two groups. Group one was subjected to stress during pregnancy; group two was not subjected to stress. Both groups showed shorter pregnancies than rats whose ancestors were not stressed during their pregnancies. Thus, the study suggests that stress during pregnancy can be passed along to future generations, even causing shorter pregnancies for mothers who did not suffer high amounts of stress during pregnancy.
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