Long-term dangers of postnatal depression

There is no debate – postpartum depression can be a devastating disease for a new mother.

However, what is probably less well-recognised is the long-term consequences of that illness on the child.

The latest findings from an ongoing longitudinal UK study of parents and infants shows that children whose mother was assessed as having moderate to severe depression at both two and eight months after delivery had a substantially increased risk of adverse outcomes across a number of child measures from behaviour and learning to mental health up to 18 years later.

The observational study known as the British Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children(ALSPAC) has followed over 9800 women who were pregnant in the early 1990s.

In the latest findings, published in JAMA psychiatry, the researchers noted that women who still had moderate to severe depression at eight months postpartum, were likely to still have depression 11 years later. And ...

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