Published on May 13, 2023

Depression in Pregnancy: Risks and Effects on the Baby

It is a known fact that depression during pregnancy can have very detrimental effects on the baby’s development in the womb. But most of these cases are brought to light when it is too late to act upon them. Since this is something that occurs so frequently, it should be looked at earlier so steps can be taken at an early stage.

Emotional Impact on the Baby

Pregnant women suffering from depression can cause the unborn baby to feel unsafe. They will keep switching between environments to which the baby is not used. The child in the womb may also be emotionally drained with this process of constant change and never get time to relax and adjust itself to its surroundings, thus leading to birth defects. It’s important to keep your pregnant woman happy and away from depression. You can take her to a short vacation to change her environment, maybe?

According to the travel joint, a trip to any of your favorite destination is the best way to release stress and stay happy. Since, the mother is struggling with depression, she will not take good care of herself during pregnancy, which can result in her baby being born unhealthy and underweight. At times it might lead to premature birth. So, it is your responsibility to keep her emotionally stable.

A severely depressed mother might not be able to support the growing fetus inside her womb adequately. If she does, she would be in so much pain that it will lead to unbearable stress or fatigue for the baby. This could result in miscarriage.

Also, since women who are depressed lose interest in everything and withdraw themselves, the baby will lack attention and care and this could lead to behavioral problems in the junior.

Depression May Lead the Baby to ADHD

The causes of depression may vary, but they can lead to issues like ADHD in children born to depressed mothers. Studies have shown that children born out of severely depressed mothers are more likely to suffer from ADHD (attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder). The child may also be extremely emotionally unstable or prone to addiction.

Depression during pregnancy has many effects on the unborn baby. These effects include, but are not limited to, lower birth weight than expected and an increased risk of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). 

Children born out of severely depressed mothers are more likely to suffer from ADHD (attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder) than those whose mothers were not depressed, claims research by an American Psychiatric Association journal.

The study has shown that depression during pregnancy can cause ADHD in children. This is because the pregnant mother’s stress and anxiety directly affects her unborn baby. These mental conditions can be passed on to the child after birth.

The research will help diagnose cases of ADHD at an early stage in children who were exposed to depression in the womb. It will also help doctors in monitoring the treatment.

The research was a collaborative effort by scientists from John Hopkins University, New York and Harvard Medical School. The study involved 1739 pregnant women who had suffered from depression in 2005 and 2006, when they were assessed for ADHD symptoms using standardised question.

Malnutrition

A pregnant woman suffering from depression may also not always take her prenatal vitamin tablets at the right time which can also affect the baby’s development seriously.

More than half of pregnant women suffer from prenatal depression. However, society is still in need of awareness regarding this mental disorder. It has been observed that many people ignore their physical ailments because they think it will not affect them. But mental conditions are worse than physical ailments. Depression during pregnancy can have very serious effects on the unborn baby, thus it is necessary to act at an early stage.

It has been found that many women neglect their prenatal checkups because they do not want to tell anyone about their condition. They try to manage everything on their own so as not to burden others. But this can be harmful for the baby. It has been found that infants of pregnant women who are suffering from depression, have a lower birth weight when compared to infants born in mothers who are not depressed. Also, there is an increase in the risk of premature delivery. Babies whose mothers are taking antidepressants during their pregnancy tend to be restless. They have a higher risk of developing diabetes and respiratory problems in the future.

Depression during pregnancy can have very serious effects on the unborn baby, thus it is necessary for people to act at an early stage.

It has been found that mothers who are suffering from depression tend to eat less and lose their appetite. This results in a decrease in the intake of essential nutrients which are required by the baby for its normal growth. The baby, deprived of essential nutrients like iron, vitamin C and potassium, tends to develop health problems in the future.

Also, there is an increase in the risk of premature delivery. Babies whose mothers take antidepressants during their pregnancy tend to be restless. They have a higher risk of developing diabetes and respiratory problems in the future.

During the past few years, depression during pregnancy has been a cause of major concern. It is important for people to act at an early stage so that it does not have any adverse effects on the infant.

Be Careful to Checkup

Maternal depression has been associated with long-term consequences for infant development, including irritability and problems sleeping. A new study of women who experienced prenatal depression supports this conclusion, finding that infants born to these women are indeed more easily overstimulated. The study results are published in the online edition of the journal Acta Paediatrica.

“Many women experience depressive symptoms during pregnancy, but these are difficult to study because the condition is relatively common and the symptoms vary greatly among individuals,” says lead author Dr. Margit Wångby-Lundh, a doctoral student at Uppsala University in Sweden. “There may also be genetic factors that make it hard to study the effects of depression, since depressed people are more likely to have children with depression.”

In this way, it is evident that prenatal depression can have a harmful effect on an unborn child. Hence women should be more careful during their pregnancy and make sure to keep a check on their mental health. Also, it is important to take a healthy and nutritious diet in order to have a successful pregnancy. Finally, women should consult a psychiatrist before the disorder becomes very severe. 

Conclusion

Maternal depression has been associated with long-term consequences for infant development, including irritability and problems sleeping. A new study of women who experienced prenatal depression supports this conclusion, finding that infants born to these women are indeed more easily overstimulated. The study results are published in the online edition of the journal Acta Paediatrica.

It is evident that prenatal depression can have a harmful effect on an unborn child. As discussed previously, there are many ways to take care of your woman and keep her away from depression. Taking a road trip in the second trimester is pretty safe, so you can take her to her favorite place and let her enjoy to the fullest. As a women should be more careful during their pregnancy and make sure to keep a check on their mental health, this trip will be of great help. Also, it is important to take a healthy and nutritious diet in order to have a successful pregnancy. Finally, women should consult a psychiatrist before the disorder becomes very severe.


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