Mother’s Depression May Affect Child’s Growth and Development
Psychology experts advise depressed mothers to take time for themselves and take care of their health to be able to give their children the proper care they need. Various studies have shown that a mother’s depression can have a negative impact on her children’s health, especially with regard to their nutrition and growth.
Depressed moms are less responsive to infant distress, according to a study published recently in the Journal of Affective Disorders. On the other hand, women who receive cognitive behavioral therapy for depression are more responsive to infant distress.
Children of mothers who were depressed during their infancy were also found to be short for their age, according to a study in the Pediatrics journal. Furthermore, an article on Medpage Today states that the shorter height may be due to reduced levels of growth hormones which result from the greater stress response of the children. Poor feeding practices and parenting behaviors may contribute to insecurity among young children, poor physical and mental development and higher incidence of deaths.
According to experts, children of depressed moms are brought to emergency rooms more often and may lack proper nutrition and sleep. They may also develop anxiety and depression in their teenage years and may suffer from social withdrawal.
Psychologists advise mothers to seek help from family, friends and mental health professionals to deal with stress and to spend some time for themselves, just to go out and exercise, eat, sleep, relax and even talk to a supportive friend. They must not ignore their well-being but instead, prioritize it to be able to cope with the demand of motherhood. They also recommend bonding time with their children which can help improve their connection with one another.
Weaver, R. Maternal Depression Can Impact Children’s Health. http://health.yahoo.net/articles/pregnancy/maternal-depression-can-impact-childrens-health