How does pregnancy affect telomeres?


Pregnancy impacts the telomeres of the offspring, influenced by various factors such as the mother's health, mental state, nutrition, and exposure to stress. According to Dr. Elissa Epel, maternal stress during pregnancy is associated with shorter telomeres in the newborn's cord blood. Stressful life events, such as job loss or financial difficulties experienced during pregnancy, have been shown to predict shorter telomere length at birth 1.

Moreover, the health and habits of both parents before conception, including their nutrition and stress levels, significantly influence the telomere length of the offspring, thus affecting the child's initial health and potentially their future development 1.

Therefore, efforts to improve parent health prior to conception and reduce exposure to stress during pregnancy could be important strategies for enhancing the telomeric health of the next generation.

Pregnancy and Telomeres

Elissa and Rhonda discuss the impact of a mother's health, stress, and nutrition on the length of telomeres at birth. They also touch on the importance of pre-pregnancy health for both parents in shaping the epigenetics of their future child.

Found My Fitness

Dr. Elissa Epel on Telomeres and the Role of Stress Biology in Cellular Aging