by Iswarya on  June 15, 2020 at 12:19 PM Mental Health News
Mothers with Chronic Depression Should Seek Help Sooner for Better Outcomes
Chronic maternal depressive symptoms are linked to poorer child outcomes, reports a new study. The findings of the study are published in the journal Journal of Paediatric and Perinatal Epidemiology.

University of Queensland researchers analyzed depression levels in 892 mothers and the development and behavior of 978 children, using data from the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women's Health.

They compared maternal depression before, during and after pregnancy, and found duration was more influential than timing.

Researcher Dr. Katrina Moss said the study found one in five women experienced depression once, while 11 percent experienced a reoccurrence.

"The longer a mother suffered maternal depression, the worse the outcomes for the child," Dr. Moss said.

"Mothers may worry that if they've been depressed during pregnancy, then it's too late to do anything about it, but reducing depressive symptoms at any stage is better for them and their children.

"The earlier we can effectively detect and treat maternal depression, the better our chances of improving outcomes."

Dr. Moss suggested screening for depression could start when couples begin planning a pregnancy, and continue through the perinatal period and early childhood.

"Maternal depression is a significant challenge for women, families, and communities, and we need to look after women better at key times in their lives," she said.

Dr. Moss said women experiencing depression should visit their GP and use supportive parent resources from organizations such as PANDA or the Gidget Foundation.

Source: Eurekalert

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