Babies exposed to their mother’s stress hormone in the womb could be more likely to develop depression

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Posted by: Sue Atkins

black pregnant woman

Some people may be more likely to develop  anxiety and depression because their mothers lacked a natural barrier to protect  them from stress while they were in the womb.

Scientists have discovered an enzyme present  in the womb and in babies’ brains that appears to protect them from high levels  of their mother’s stress hormone, cortisol.

But for some women, this natural defence is  faulty or lacking, due to their genes or certain diets. One ingredient that has  shown to have an impact is liquorice.

The good news is that researchers have also  found an molecule in the blood which indicates if a baby has been exposed to  high levels of stress while in the mother’s womb, meaning doctors can spot who  is likely to suffer from these conditions later in life.

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