Dr. Manny Says: Rep. Weiner and His Wife Must Focus on Keeping Pregnancy Healthy

While I watched the resignation of New York Rep. Anthony Weiner on Thursday, I have to admit, my thoughts were not on him, but on his pregnant wife.Weiner’s scandal couldn’t have come at a worse time: mere days after the story broke, his wife Huma announced that she was pregnant.

And though the couple has decided to stick together, and Weiner has offered a number of public apologies to Huma, she needs more than that right now.  Specifically, she needs his support during this crucial time to minimize the damaging effects of stress on her pregnancy.

Already, I worry what this scandal may have wreaked on Weiner’s family life, which is essential in having a healthy prenatal environment.

What I’ve learned in my practice as an OBGYN is that one of the biggest contributors to a high-risk pregnancy is maternal stress.  According to obstetric literature, stress is related to premature contractions, maternal hypertension, lack of sleep and abnormal sugar control, all of which can jeopardize the outcome of pregnancy.

While positive stress can sometimes be good for a mother – for example, it can encourage her to eat a healthy diet or institute a good exercise plan – negative stress, such as what we are witnessing in this family’s case, ought to be monitored carefully.

Now that Weiner has announced his resignation, I hope that the media will step aside and give this couple the privacy that they and their unborn baby need during this critical time, so that the child has a better chance of arriving in this world happy and healthy.

As for Weiner, I hope he takes his time out of the public eye to step up and be the loving, protective husband and father that his family deserves.