Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Understanding the causes of prenatal depression

Many women suffer from postnatal depression but they can also suffer from prenatal depression as well. Anxiety and depression during pregnancy can result in premature birth or low birthweight and can affect children's health even into their early school years. Researchers from the Norwegain Institute of Public Health studied 50,000 expectant mothers in an attempt to find out more about the causes of prenatal depression. They found that the most important factor was the amount of support women received from their partners - those women who were most unhappy with their relationship were the most likely to be depressed. The women who were happy with their partner were better able to cope with difficulties at work, lack of money and other stressful situations such as moving house or being ill. Older mothers coped better than younger ones and illness, trouble at work and problems with alcohol in the year beforehand were all linked to more emotional distress.

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