Moms’ stress, depression affect babies in womb
Children at higher risk for problems later in life, new study finds

By listening intently to movements and heartbeats, researchers are finding that the fetuses of mothers who are stressed or depressed respond differently from those of emotionally healthy women.

After birth, studies indicate, these babies have a significantly increased risk of developing learning and behavioral problems, and they may themselves be more vulnerable to depression or anxiety as they age.

The studies, researchers caution, are preliminary. Stress or depression during a mother’s pregnancy is only one among many influences that affect an infant’s development. Even among mothers who are depressed or highly stressed, the rate of emotional and behavioral problems in children is still very low.

“The last thing pregnant women need is to have something else to worry about,” said Dr. Janet DiPietro, a developmental psychologist at Johns Hopkins University’s Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Still, the studies reflect growing evidence that stress and depression can have early and lasting effects on a child’s life.

 


Comments


View Comments / Leave a Comment

This post currently has 0 comments.
You can read the comments or leave your own thoughts.


    Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 15 Dec 2004
    Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.

APA Reference
, . (2004). Moms’ stress, depression affect babies in womb. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 20, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2004/12/15/moms-stress-depression-affect-babies-in-womb/

 

Recent Comments
  • Both sides: I have been on both sides of the affair. My husband and I met when married. An instant and obvious...
  • Martina: Thank you for this article. Well said!
  • mattfive1720: This article employs and implicitly endorses as true several faith-based terms and concepts, including...
  • SSlim: Thanks. Writtten from very interesting perspective urging people to take responsibility for their winter blues...
  • Saphrona: I am a 61 year old grandmother who has anxiety- ridden major depressive disorder and ADD. I was originally...
Subscribe to Our Weekly Newsletter


Find a Therapist
Enter ZIP or postal code