During pregnancy, risk of infection can increase if the pregnant woman is dissatisfied with her relationship, says a new study. Chances of infectious diseases, such as stomach flu and ear inflammation can get high in that situation which can also affect the child.
"If you compare the group of pregnant women with the lowest satisfaction to the group with highest satisfaction in their relationship, the first group's risk of becoming ill is more than twice that of the second group," told Roger Ekeberg Henriksen, from the University of Bergen in Norway.
"Those who report that they are dissatisfied in their relationship more often report illnesses during pregnancy and their children are also reported ill more often during their first year," said Mr Henriksen.
When it comes to the children, the connections are even more observable than with the pregnant women. Researchers found the occurrence of eight different infectious diseases, such as common cold, stomach flu and inflammation of the ear.
In cases, where mothers were dissatisfied with their relationship, the occurrence of all eight infections was found to be higher with the children upto six months.
The earlier research on stress explains the connection between bad relations and physical ailment.
"You have a psychological experience, but how does this become a physical illness that makes you vomit or gives you a fever of a cough," said Mr Henriksen.
"If the idea is that stress makes us ill, we have already seen that there are individual variations and that social support is important," he added.
The response to stress is completely natural for the body. They give us indication of dangers so that we are aware and avoid them.
Brain is given extra energy in such situations and and some body functions are given priority before others.
Evolution researchers claim, when the stress response shifts to the unborn baby in the womb, it helps the child to prepare in advance for the world outside.
However being in stress is not constant. And if this happens, our immune system may be given lower priority, and thus our resistance to infectious illnesses from bacteria and viruses decreses.
Mr Henriksen believes, this is the effect that plays in his research.