Being in an unhealthy relationship is tough for anyone to endure, but a new study found that bad relationships can actually have negative effects on the physical health of pregnant women — and their children.
Scientists from the University of Bergen in Norway determined that pregnant women who are dissatisfied in their relationships are more likely to develop an infectious disease, such as a cold or the flu. The team analyzed data from the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study, which included 67,000 pregnant women, as well as over 100,000 children. The mothers each reported how they felt about their relationships.
“Those who report that they are dissatisfied in their relationship more often report illnesses during pregnancy. Their children are also reported ill more often during their first year,” study author Roger Ekeberg Henriksen said in a statement.
The scientists noted that the correlation between a bad relationship and poor health in pregnant women is likely tied to the effects stress can have on the body, since high stress can lower a person’s immune responses.