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Being pregnant can be stressful, plus it may disrupt your sleep patterns, mood and style. But when you are feeling overwhelmed as well as the mood changes are interfering with your life, you could have prenatal depression – a condition that not only impacts you, but can increase the chance of depression throughout your kid’s adult life also, based on a new study published in JAMA Psychiatry.

Researchers from the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom looked at data on more than 4,500 moms and children, and found that children born to mothers who endured from prenatal depression were nearly 1.5 times more likely to suffer from depression by the time they were 18 than children born to mothers who did not.??

“The mechanism for this is uncertain,” the researchers, headed by Rebecca Pearson, PhD, a researcher with the University of Bristol, wrote in the research. “One explanation is that cortisol, elevated in depression, passes through the placenta and directly alters fetal neural development with longterm impacts.”

Prenatal depression is a condition that causes symptoms including irritability, feelings of worthlessness and trouble sleeping, and affects up to 20 percent of pregnant women. And while mood and sleep changes are not unusual, the changes are much more intrusive in prenatal depression, said prenatal depression practitioner, MD, a psychiatrist and Ariela Frieder with Montefiore Medical Center in New York.

“A girl could be more sensitive during pregnancy and can have normal mood swings, but prenatal depression is a lot more intense,” Dr. Frieder said. “If a woman does not have an interest in doing anything, lacks motivation and feels useless or hopeless, that goes beyond the normal mood issues during pregnancy.”

“Prenatal depression can also cause postpartum depression,” Frieder added, which could cause neglectful parenting and can also be linked to childhood depression.

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Regrettably, Frieder said, many pregnant women are unaware of things to look out for, and believe that what they’re feeling is normal.

“People frequently tell moms to hold on and say the feelings will go away and get better,” she said. “But sometimes it does not. This study demonstrates the significance of treating depression during pregnancy.”

For reasons that the researchers said are unclear, the connection between prenatal depression and depression in the kid was most powerful in families who had a low socicoeconomic status, but researchers stated that the all expectant mothers should be on the lookout for prenatal depression.

“The findings have important consequences for the nature and timing of interventions aimed at preventing depression in the offspring of depressed moms,” the researchers wrote in the study. “In particular, the findings suggest that treating depression in pregnancy, irrespective of background, may be most effective.”

Prenatal depression is treated with either psychotherapy or antidepressants, with respect to the severity, Frieder said. However, many doctors are weary of giving antidepressants to expectant mums, as a result of side effects which include a marginally higher danger of miscarriage, premature delivery and danger of the infants having seizures.

“It’s a hazard gain choice,” she added. “Antidepressants should not be the first the pick for treatment, but occasionally they’re essential.”

And also though many doctors look at the chance to be too great, Frieder said that the findings show that failing to treat prenatal depression can have long term effects on the wellness of the kid.

“Many mental health professionals tell the women never to take antidepressants, since they consider the risks of medication to be worse than the threats from prenatal depression,” she said. “But this study demonstrates that the dangers of depression during pregnancy could be severe.”

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