pregnancy

Increased stress on fathers leads to brain development changes in offspring

New research in mice has found that a father’s stress affects the brain development of his offspring. This stress changes the father’s sperm, which can then alter the brain development of the child. This new research provides a much better understanding of the key role that fathers play in the brain development of offspring. Scientists have known that a mother’s environment during pregnancy, including factors such as poor diet, stress or infection, can cause damage…

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Depression lowers women’s chances of pregnancy, study finds

Women with severe depressive symptoms have a decreased chance of becoming pregnant, while the use of psychotropic medications does not appear to harm fertility, a study by researchers from the Boston University Schools of Public Health and Medicine shows. The study, published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, found a 38 percent decrease in the average probability of conception in a given menstrual cycle among women who reported severe depressive symptoms, compared to those…

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Mental health risk for new dads

Researchers have found anxiety around the arrival of a new baby is just as common as postnatal depression, and the risks for men are nearly as high as for women. Mental health researcher Dr Liana Leach reviewed 43 separate studies and found anxiety before and after a child arrives is just as prevalent as depression, affecting around one in ten men, around half the rate for women. “Men can feel left out of the process,…

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Depression, weight gain in pregnancy linked to sitting down

A link between depression in pregnancy and long periods of sitting down has been identified by researchers from the University of Warwick. The study found those suffering from symptoms of depression during pregnancy are more likely to sit down for long periods of time in the second trimester. The academics also found this puts them at risk of greater weight gain and contracting gestational diabetes. The study was led by Dr Nithya Sukumar, Clinical Research…

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Stress during pregnancy related to children’s later movement, coordination

Stress experienced by mothers during pregnancy is related to their children’s behavior, as well as mental and cognitive outcomes in middle childhood and into adolescence, but few studies have looked at the relationship between maternal pregnancy stress and children’s motor development. Now a new longitudinal study has found that mothers who experienced more stressful events during their pregnancies had children who scored lower on a test of movement competence. The study, by researchers at the…

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Helping pregnant moms with depression doesn’t help kids, study shows

A long-term study of mother-child pairs in Pakistan has found that the children turn out pretty much the same, whether or not their mothers received treatment for depression during pregnancy. An earlier study of the same population found that the mothers themselves benefited from the treatment, with less depression, and demonstrating related healthy behaviors with their newborns, such as breastfeeding. But those improvements were short-lived. The “Thinking Healthy Programme” is a successful depression intervention evaluated…

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Text messages a good way to support mothers with postpartum depression

A Saint Louis University research paper published online March 16 in JMIR Mental Health explores the feasibility of helping low-income mothers through postpartum depression using text messages. Corresponding author Matthew A. Broom, M.D., assistant professor of pediatrics at Saint Louis University and SLUCare physician at SSM Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center, formed the Happy Mothers, Healthy Families program in 2013 with a three-year, $316,140 grant from the Maternal Child and Family Health Coalition (MCHFC). Other authors include…

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Prenatal exposure to common air pollution linked to cognitive, behavioral impairment

Researchers at the Institute for the Developing Mind at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA) and colleagues at Columbia University’s Center for Children’s Environmental Health have found a powerful relationship between prenatal PAH exposure and disturbances in parts of the brain that support information processing and behavioral control. Their study of 40 children, followed from before birth until 7 to 9 years of age as part of the Center’s large community-based cohort, will be published online…

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Women who experience ‘postpartum’ depression before giving birth may face greater risk

When it comes to postpartum depression, one size does not fit all, according to a new study led by University of North Carolina School of Medicine researchers. Instead, women with postpartum depression may experience any of three distinct subtypes of clinical presentation, and each of these has important implications for their prognosis and the tailoring of treatments, the researchers found. “Clinicians should be aware of the diverse presentation of women with postpartum depression,” said Samantha…

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