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Are You Pregnant and Depressed? New Study Shows Long Term Effects

A new study is about to be published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science that proves even further just how close the bond is between mother and her unborn child.

We all know that what you put into your body when pregnant can affect your baby. You watch what you eat, what medications you take, modify strenuous exercises, refrain from smoking and drinking. That is just a small look at what many pregnant moms change when they are pregnant for their unborn child. Studies have shown that the environment of the fetus when gestating can include some long term health effects (such as if a pregnant woman was starving; due to famine or eating disorder) affecting quality of life years and years later.

A new study suggests that another factor of pregnancy can have long term effects – our mental state.

Researchers from the  University of California-Irvine studied how the mother’s psychological state affects a developing fetus by recruiting pregnant women and checked them before and after birth. They tested the children also to see how well they were developing and what they found was interesting.

The babies who did the best after birth were the ones who had a mother who was healthy before and after birth OR the ones who had a mother who was depressed before and after birth. According to their research what caused the slower development was the changing conditions - going from healthy to depressed OR from depressed to healthy.

The researches of the study suggest that treatment of depression before pregnancy, and screening for depression in women who are currently pregnant can have positive effects on the outcomes.

{Source} | { Image modified:  GraceFamily on Flickr }

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