Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Postnatal depression which persists beyond six months after birth and is severe, increases the risk of children exhibiting behavioural problems, achieving lower GCSE mathematics grades at 16 years and having depression at 18 years of age.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

Postnatal depression which is persistent (whether moderate or severe) increases mothers’ risk of continuing to experience depressive symptoms beyond the postnatal year, with high levels found up until 11 years after childbirth.

Available research suggests that postnatal depression is associated with increased risks to children’s development affecting a range of domains. The effects are variable with some evidence suggesting that brief episodes, while distressing to the mother, may not impact negatively on children’s development. However, episodes of depression which persist for six months or more in duration may increase the risk for children. Identifying women at most risk is important both for women’s mental health and children’s development. The authors investigated whether depression has a similar impact when it is, or is not, persistent at either moderate or severe levels. Researchers from the Universities of Oxford, Bristol, Reading and UCLA in a new paper in JAMA Psychiatry tracked changes in mothers’ depressive symptoms following the postnatal year and differences in children’s development when postnatal depression was, or was not, persistent.

Find out more (University of Oxford website)

Similar stories

Smoking increases the risks of 56 diseases in Chinese adults

Smoking increases the risks of 56 diseases and kills more than one million adults in China each year from 22 different causes, according to new research published in The Lancet Public Health.

Young lives under pressure as global crises hits mental health and well-being – report

The well-being and mental health of young people in low - and middle - income countries have been dramatically affected by the series of crises hitting the world. As the international community continues to struggle with the impact of COVID-19, conflict and climate change, the latest report from the Young Lives project shows a long-running upward trend in young people’s well-being has been sharply reversed alongside widespread anxiety and depression. Young people are less confident about their futures for the first time in the 20-year study.

Bacterial infections linked to one in eight global deaths, according to GRAM study

Data showing 7.7 million deaths from 33 bacterial infections can guide measures to strengthen health systems, particularly in low-income settings

First evidence drug resistant bacteria can travel from gut to lung, increasing infection risks

A new Oxford University study released during World Antimicrobial Awareness Week has significant findings on how antimicrobial resistance (AMR) arises and persists. The results, published today in Nature Communications, provide the first direct evidence of AMR bacteria migrating from a patient’s gut microbiome to the lungs, increasing the risk of deadly infections.