They Say: Pregnant Women Need Social Support

pregnant-belly-300x199OK, ladies, some more ammunition to relieve yourselves of guilt when you stop answering  your whiny best friend’s phone calls mid-pregnancy. Another study has linked a lack of social support and stress during pregnancy to depression.

And as we all know – a depressed mom is not good for baby.

On first glance the study out of the University of Michigan sounds like another one of those “uh duh” findings, but researchers explain in a university press release that this is another step in giving doctors good guidelines for diagnosing depression in pregnant women.

Says researcher Christie A. Lancaster, M.D., M.S., a U-M clinical lecturer in the department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, “Depression has been associated with adverse outcomes for both mom and baby, including pre-term delivery, pre-eclampsia, sleep disturbances for both mom and baby, and maternal-infant attachment effects, in addition to its impact on the mother’s daily quality of life.”

But determining which women are at higher risk is part of prevention. And a definitive link to social issues rather than genetic pre-disposition enhances the list of things OB/GYNs will look for.

And, frankly, this is the sort of study that gives women a little more power to put themselves first. No, we’re not delicate little flowers who can’t be upset like your geriatric grandma with the heart condition, but we should be able to shut down the other stressors in our lives and tell folks when enough is enough.

Did you get the support you needed during pregnancy or was there always that person adding unnecessary stress?

Image: 3neus via flickr

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