Giving Compass' Take:

• Amal Ahmed at The Atlantic discusses new research which found that the stress from dealing with natural disasters has adverse effects on pregnant mothers and their infants born soon after.

• How can doctors be more equipped to handle pregnant women who have suffered a natural disaster? What advances in our medical field can be taken to help? 

• Learn about ways to respond after disaster strikes a community. 

Pregnant women are often told to avoid stress. Easier said than done. Work, school, life—stress is inevitable. And now researchers are saying they can even document an ill effect on babies when mothers confront one of the most unavoidable stressors: natural disasters.

In 2009, researchers from the City University of New York received a grant from the National Institute of Mental Health to better understand the impacts of maternal stress and depression on fetal development and long-term psychological outcomes for infants. Most of the 600 women enrolled in the study were low-income and ethnic minorities who were being served by major hospitals in the New York City area—a population, the study notes, that is already at high risk of complications for both mother and baby. These women have less access to prenatal care and medical support, in part because they often don’t have very good health insurance.

Read the full article on how natural disasters impact pregnant mothers by Amal Ahmed at The Atlantic