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Pregnancy News: Prenatal Care Important For Stronger Muscles In Newborn Babies

Update Date: Feb 08, 2017 10:35 AM EST

A new research has emphasized the importance of prenatal care during pregnancy. According to the researchers, by being vigilant in regards to prenatal care during pregnancy, mothers can have newborn babies with stronger muscles.

Based on previous studies, fetal development and growth of newborn babies are affected by poor health conditions of the mothers during their pregnancies. These studies also found a link between fetal malnutrition, low muscle mass and strength, and low birth weight throughout the offspring's life. The current research focuses on how malnutrition or poor health conditions during pregnancy can affect the muscle development of the fetus and if these also affect the baby's growth.

The study, published in the Journal of Endocrinology, proposes that there are two environmental factors that affect the fetal growth. These factors, malnutrition and stress, expose the fetus to high levels of a stress hormone called cortisol. Lack of proper nutrition or malnutrition is a kind of stress that raises the cortisol levels in a pregnant woman's blood.

With these hypotheses in place, the researchers investigated whether the stress due to malnutrition in pregnant women affects the growth of the fetus particularly its muscles.

The researchers examined how glucocorticoids can affect the fetal muscles in rats. The study found that high levels of glucocorticoids impaired the replication of satellite cells in the muscles of the fetal rats. The satellite cells are important to muscle growth as they aid in the addition of nuclei to the muscle fibers.

Furthermore, the researchers found that glucocorticoids levels effect on fetal growth is quite complex. It all depends on how long the fetus is exposed to glucocorticoids, the level of glucocorticoids, and the time during pregnancy when exposure occurred.

In conclusion, the study emphasizes that malnutrition and maternal stress increases the levels of cortisol in pregnant women's blood and thus significantly affecting the growth of the fetus. Not only in the growth of the muscles, maternal stress also affects the growth of other organs of the fetus on the cellular level and could have long-lasting effects on the growth of newborn babies.

The findings of the study highlight the importance of prenatal care and proper nutrition during pregnancy to ensure the healthy growth of the fetus.

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