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Depression in pregnancy period affects the mental health of children - study


A research conducted by Vivette Glover, at the Imperial College London and team, has found that depression during pregnancy will increase the risk of behavioral and emotional issues among children. Depression associated with sad mood and feeling of hopelessness will create issues among children post delivery.

The study also found that this issue is more prevalent among low and middle-income countries in which the expectant and mother have very less resources to combat these problems.

Earlier, research conducted by the same team has found that depression in a woman during the pregnancy period may negatively impact the development of the baby in the womb. The study also indicated that it will affect the bonding between the mother and kid after birth.

The new study found that anxiety and depression among the carrying lady will decrease the enzyme in the placenta that breaks down the stress hormone, cortisol. If the woman has high depression, then it will cause the foetus more exposed to cortisol resulting in mental disorders of the kid in the future.

As a result of the stress, the foetus may also undergo epigenetic stages. In these times, the DNA stays the same, but its expression will be changed resulting in mental disorders among kids.

In low-income countries, problems like war, starvation, and political violence will be quite high, and it will result in depression among carrying women. Moreover, unintended pregnancies will be also high in these countries. In some countries, increased substance usage is considered to be the main reason for depression among women. In some other cases, partner violence is also considered to be other anxiety triggering factor.

The study report is published in the journal The Lancet Psychiatry.

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