Friday, March 21st, 2014
We all know things like hair and eye color, even intelligence, can be passed down from mom and dad to baby. But can anxiety? A new study says yes, and more specifically, your fear of math can rub off on your little one while he or she is in the womb. What? Who knew?
According to a study conducted by researchers at Ohio State University, whose findings are published in the online version of the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, genetic factors explain about 40 percent of the individual differences in math anxiety. The rest is chocked up to experiences at school, home and around friends.
The study, which examined how 216 identical twins and 298 same-sex fraternal twins differ on measures of math anxiety, provides a new view on why some children—and adults—may develop a real fear of math that makes it more difficult for them to solve math problems and succeed in school.
Science Daily reports that math anxiety taps into genetic predispositions in two ways: “People’s cognitive performance on math and their tendency toward anxiety,” said Zhe Wang, lead author of the study and postdoctoral researcher in psychology at Ohio State University.
Stephen Petrill, professor of psychology at Ohio State, and the principal investigator of the study, says, “Genetic factors may exacerbate or reduce the risk of doing poorly at math. If you have these genetic risk factors for math anxiety and then you have negative experiences in math classes, it may make learning that much harder.“
Hmmm…so in addition to prenatal appointments, and readying the nursery, do pregnant mamas-to-be need to be boning up on their math skills, so their newborns will eventually be math geniuses rather than math worriers?
TELL US: Do you think a parents’ anxiety, and specifically academic anxieties, can be passed down from generation to generation?
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Image of child doing geometry courtesy of Shutterstock.
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Anxiety, Fraternal Twins, genetic study, Genetic Traits, Genetics, Identical Twins, Intelligence, Math Anxiety, math skills, pregnancy, pregnant, Twins | Categories:
Friday, June 7th, 2013
I was struck by the outpouring of feedback Parents received on Facebook after my last blog post, Terminate Your Pregnancy or Your Life? A Breast Cancer Dilemma. People were equally passionate for both sides. Many of you agreed with Laura, the woman who chose to terminate her fourth pregnancy in favor of saving her life so she could continue to be a mom to her three children. Some of you had even had to make that traumatic decision yourself (my heart goes out to each and every one of you!)
But lots of you felt that in the same situation you would have taken the risk and not received chemotherapy or undergone surgery in hopes of saving your unborn child. Many shared stories of friends and family members who took the risk and the baby lived and the mom died shortly after—making the ultimate sacrifice for her child; while others did the same and it paid off with a full recovery for the mom and a healthy baby.
Since one thing you all agreed on is that you care so deeply about the lives of little ones, I wanted to share some good news with you from this article I stumbled upon in the Daily Mail about brave moms who decided not to listen to their doctors’ advice when their pregnancies were seen as high-risk. Please understand that this is in no way an endorsement of going rogue against a doctor’s counsel (only you and your partner can decide what’s right for you and your family after hearing all of the medical facts), it’s merely me wanting to share the flip side of yesterday’s coin.
Imagine you’re an elementary school teacher who always felt she was born to be a mom. You’ve tried to get pregnant for seven years with thee failed rounds of IVF and one heartbreaking miscarriage before finally getting pregnant—with triplets! That’s exactly what happened to Kirsty Woodhouse, now 37. She was expecting identical twins and a singleton (weird name, I know, but it’s a technical term meaning the baby was not a fraternal or identical twin to either of the others). Multiple births are always considered high risk, so Kirsty was quickly advised that there was a 20 percent chance she would miscarry all three and her doctor advised that the best chance of having one healthy baby was “selective reduction,” which meant terminating the identical twins.
The procedure would require a needle to be passed through her abdomen, into her womb that would inject the twins’ hearts with a chemical that would stop them from beating. There was also a risk that the third child would also be affected by the chemical, leaving Kirsty and her husband with no child at all. But that risk was less than if she proceeded with carrying the triplets. If she and her husband went against medical advisement and she miscarried all three babies there was a good chance that she would never birth her own child (of course surrogacy and adoption were always an option).
While getting a second opinion, Kirsty’s new doctor took the positive spin to the same facts and said there was still an 80 percent chance that if she continued with the pregnancy that one or more of the babies could survive. After having seen their babies on Kirsty’s sonograms, hearing their heartbeats and already forming an unconditional love for each of them, Kirsty and her husband’s decision had been made for them. They were too emotionally connected to all three babies to end any of their lives intentionally.
Kirsty’s pregnancy was complication-free from then on out. After a planned caesarean at 34 weeks, now all three 15 month olds are happy and healthy. Kirsty and her entire family can’t bring themselves to wonder what their lives would have been like without these three bundles of joy. For her, all of the stress and worrying was worth it. She chose her own path and it lead to three beautiful babies.
Tell Us: If you were pregnant with multiples, would you risk one baby’s life to save another?
Image of baby courtesy of Shutterstock.
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Abortion, High-Risk Pregnancy, Identical Twins, IVF, Miscarriage, Multiples, pregnancy, pregnant, Triplets, Twins | Categories:
Healthy Pregnancy, Pregnancy News