There’s a new study published in Maternal & Child Health‘s March 2012 issue about the impact of maternal depression on the health of children. What interests me about the study is that it seems to indicate, to me anyway, that moms who get treated for postpartum depression have less to worry about than moms who don’t. If a mom who has PPD goes untreated (as 85% of them do), and her postpartum depression morphs into ongoing chronic depression, her child has a greater risk of chronic behavioral problems as he or she gets older. Here’s the abstract of the study:
Children of depressed mothers have been shown to express behaviour problems to a greater extent than children of non-depressed mothers. The purpose of this study was to examine the persistence of depressive symptoms in mothers and to evaluate the relative importance of symptoms of postpartum depression (PPD) and concurrent maternal symptoms of depression, on child behaviour at age 12. A birth cohort of 1,707 children and their mothers was followed from 3 months after birth to 12 years after birth … Our findings indicate that recurrent and ongoing maternal depressive symptoms significantly increase the risk of child behaviour problems as reported by mothers, while symptoms of PPD do not seem to result in an increased risk of behaviour problems in 12 year olds. High maternal socio-demographic life stress at childbirth constitutes an important risk factor for later child behaviour problems.
Do you have the same interpretation?