Maternal Depression Can Hinder Physical and Mental Growth of a Child; Study Reveals

Maternal Depression Can Hinder Physical and Mental Growth of a Child; Study RevealsResearchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland have recently reported in the journal Pediatrics Babies that mothers who feel depressed during their pregnancy could be considered as the main cause of slower growth in their children, especially in the initial two years of their life, as compared to that of normal ones.

Prior to this study, several other studies have been conducted in which it was clearly proved that maternal depression can affect the overall development of a child.

Whether it is his physical growth or mental growth, it could be slower during the first 24 months of his life. Apart from this, such a behavior of mother can result into poorer developmental outcomes in his later life as well.

To find out more about the impact of 9 months maternal depression over the child after the age of three, Pamela J. Surkan, ScD., along with her team collected and analyzed data from a nationally representative population sample - the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study Birth Cohort.

As a result they found, 40% of mothers had depression symptoms during their pregnancy and 48% children of such mothers, all aged between 4 to 5 years, were below the tenth percentile in terms of their height.

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