Research Roundup: Antenatal Depression & Its Impact on Babies

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Some perinatal mood and anxiety disorder research in the news this week …

A study from the University of Michigan was published on the impact of depression during pregnancy (antenatal depression) on infants. The study finds differences between infants whose mothers were depressed during pregnancy and those whose mothers were not, having to do with things like muscle tone and levels of stress hormones. You can read about them by following the link, but DON'T freak out though: "While cautioning against alarm, the researchers recommended that mothers experiencing symptoms of depression during pregnancy talk to a therapist. They also noted that interventions aimed and mother-child bonding after birth can act as countermeasures, stimulating children’s neurological development and lowering the possible effects of stress hormone production early in life." The key takeaway for me is that you shouldn't ignore depression when pregnant. Reach out for help.

Also, an interesting little study from BioMedCentral Public Health which covers, among other things, how the conduct of the nurse offering PPD screenings has an impact on the women being screened. I like the comment that the EPDS should be more like a "springboard for conversation" than an inquisition. The comments from the women in the study are fascinating.

… and in this roundup, I'm also throwing in a nice piece from Psychology Today on the difference between postpartum depression and postpartum PTSD (even though it's not research)…

… and a story from KevinMD on how antidepressants can sometimes hurt patients, which goes to show how important follow up is.

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About Katherine Stone

is the creator of this blog, and the founder and executive director of Postpartum Progress. She has been named a WebMD Health Hero, one of the fiercest women in America by More magazine, and one of the 15 most influential patient advocates to follow. She is a survivor of postpartum OCD.

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  1. babies are very sensitives and can be affected by any harmful thinks but as per your description that mother's depression can affect the baby but i want to say that its a difficult job to became stress less because you don't know which think is in your favor and which is not.