I was looking back at the ACOG link on Ob-Gyns Encouraged to Screen Women for Depression During and After Pregnancy from my last post, and wanted to call out this paragraph because I think it’s worth repeating.
Clinical depression is common among reproductive-age women and is the leading cause of disability in women in the US each year. Between 14%-23% of pregnant women will experience depression symptoms during pregnancy and an estimated 5%-25% of women will have postpartum depression. Studies have shown that untreated maternal depression negatively affects an infant’s cognitive, neurologic, and motor skill development. A mother’s untreated depression can also negatively impact older children’s mental health and behavior. During pregnancy, depression can lead to preeclampsia, preterm delivery, and low birth weight.
There’s an interesting article here that I came across on Prenatal Memory and Learning that contains this information:
Studies of a thousand babies whose mothers had experienced various degrees of depression during pregnancy themselves displayed depression at birth and in proportion to the depression scores of their mothers.