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Looking up for a healthy pregnancy

A generous dose of optimism can help protect expectant moms at high risk for pregnancy problems. In a study of 129 high-risk patients, State University of New York at Stony Brook researchers found that women who were least optimistic during pregnancy delivered lower birth weight infants than their cheery counterparts—women who agreed with statements such as “I always look on the bright side of things” or “I always expect the best.”

The glummer moms-to-be also reported higher stress levels.

By contrast, the optimistic group was more active and ate more nutritiously. Researchers believe the upbeat findings may be applicable to the population at large, not just pregnant women. But if you tend to see the glass half empty, don’t despair about your health: The researchers also point out that optimism is a learned behavior!