Depression in Mothers May Cause Depression in Children, New Study Finds
A new study revealed that depression in mothers during and after pregnancy may increase the risk of depression in children during adolescence and adulthood by about 70 percent.
Perinatal depression refers to depression during pregnancy and within the first year of birth. Previous studies have linked it with reduced growth rates in children, malnutrition, and increased risk of health problems in children. There have also been studies that have examined the effects of maternal depression on a child’s mental wellbeing; however, this is the first study to link maternal depression with mental health problems in children aged 12 and older.
The researchers examined all studies analyzing the effects of maternal depression on children and found that children born to mothers who had perinatal depression, especially antenatal depression, had a higher risk of having depression whey they got older.
The study comes as people’s stress levels have heightened as a result of the coronavirus pandemic and the restrictions that have come with it. This poses a great risk of depression for pregnant women and a similar risk in their offspring.