There is an interesting article this week which looks at the long-term impact of prenatal depression on the developing fetus.  Following children for 25 years, Plant and colleagues observed that the children exposed to maternal depression during pregnancy had signs of increased inflammation (odds ratio=11.8) at age 25.  This finding was independent of child maltreatment and adulthood depression, which are known risk factors for adulthood inflammation. While we focus primarily on the negative effects of prenatal exposure to antidepressants, this study very clearly demonstrates that untreated depression in the mother carries significant and persistent risks for the child.

Ruta Nonacs, MD PhD


Rusner M, Berg M, Begley C. Bipolar disorder in pregnancy and childbirth: a systematic review of outcomes.  BMC Pregnancy Childbirth. 2016 Oct 28;16(1):331.  Full Text Article


Plant DT, Pawlby S, Sharp D, Zunszain PA, Pariante CM.  Prenatal maternal depression is associated with offspring inflammation at 25 years: a prospective longitudinal cohort study. Transl Psychiatry. 2016 Nov 1;6(11):e936.


Davis EP, Head K, Buss C, Sandman CA. Prenatal maternal cortisol concentrations predict neurodevelopment in middle childhood. Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2016 Oct 15;75:56-63. [Epub ahead of print]


Asselmann E, Hoyer J, Wittchen HU, Martini J. Sexual Problems During Pregnancy and After Delivery Among Women With and Without Anxiety and Depressive Disorders Prior to Pregnancy: A Prospective-Longitudinal Study. J Sex Med. 2016 Jan;13(1):95-104.


Cheng ER, Kotelchuck M, Gerstein ED, Taveras EM, Poehlmann-Tynan J. Postnatal Depressive Symptoms Among Mothers and Fathers of Infants Born Preterm: Prevalence and Impacts on Children’s Early Cognitive Function. J Dev Behav Pediatr. 2016 Jan;37(1):33-42.

Somewhat unexpected finding:  Fathers of preterm infants have more postnatal depressive symptomology than fathers of term-born infants. Fathers’ depressive symptoms also negatively impact children’s early cognitive function. The national findings support early identification and treatment of fathers of preterm infants with depressive symptoms.


Mougharbel F, Deonandan R.  Role of Omega-3 Unsaturated Fatty Acids in the Postpartum Depression: Systematic Review and Narrative Synthesis.  Glob J Health Sci. 2016 Aug 1;9(3):58922.  Free Article

The overwhelming majority of the studies found that n-3 PUFAs had no inverse association with PPD evaluations. Significant heterogeneity was observed among included studies.


Mukherjee S, Coxe S, Fennie K, Madhivanan P, Trepka MJ. Stressful Life Event Experiences of Pregnant Women in the United States: A Latent Class Analysis. Womens Health Issues. 2016 Oct 31.  [Epub ahead of print]

That one out of every five and one out of every eight women were in the multiple stressors and illness/death related-stress classes, respectively, suggests that antenatal SLEs are common. The greater likelihood of adverse maternal health outcomes in both the illness/death stress and the multiple stressors classes suggests the importance of screening for these SLEs and providing support to pregnant women.


Salm Ward T, Kanu FA, Robb SW. Prevalence of stressful life events during pregnancy and its association with postpartum depressive symptoms. Arch Womens Ment Health. 2016 Oct 26. [Epub ahead of print].


Gressier F, Guillard V, Cazas O, Falissard B, Glangeaud-Freudenthal NM, Sutter-Dallay AL. Risk factors for suicide attempt in pregnancy and the post-partum period in women with serious mental illnesses.

  J Psychiatr Res. 2016 Oct 13;84:284-291. [Epub ahead of print]


Brockington I. Suicide and filicide in postpartum psychosis. Arch Womens Ment Health. 2016 Oct 24. [Epub ahead of print]


Moore GA, Quigley KM, Voegtline KM, DiPietro JA. Don’t worry, be (moderately) happy: Mothers’ anxiety and positivity during pregnancy independently predict lower mother-infant synchrony.  Infant Behav Dev. 2016 Feb;42:60-8.


Valla L, Wentzel-Larsen T, Smith L, Birkeland MS, Slinning K. Association between maternal postnatal depressive symptoms and infants’ communication skills: A longitudinal study. Infant Behav Dev. 2016 Oct 12;45(Pt A):83-90.


Keller N, Medved V, Armano G. The Influence of Maternal Personality and Risk Factors for Impaired Mother-Infant Bonding on Breastfeeding Duration. Breastfeed Med. 2016 Nov 2. [Epub ahead of print]


Jones SM, Guthrie KA, LaCroix AZ, Sternfeld B, Landis CA, Reed SD, Dunn A, Caan B, Cohen LS, Hunt J, Newton KM. Is heart rate variability associated with frequency and intensity of vasomotor symptoms among healthy perimenopausal and postmenopausal women? Clin Auton Res. 2016 Feb;26(1):7-13.


Kimmel MC, Ferguson EH, Zerwas S, Bulik CM, Meltzer-Brody S. Obstetric and gynecologic problems associated with eating disorders.  Int J Eat Disord. 2016 Mar;49(3):260-75.


House SJ, Coker JL, Stowe ZN.  Perinatal Substance Abuse: At the Clinical Crossroads of Policy and Practice. Am J Psychiatry. 2016 Nov 1;173(11):1077-1080.


Santos IS, Barros AJ, Barros FC, Munhoz TN, Da Silva BD, Matijasevich A. Mother-child bed-sharing trajectories and psychiatric disorders at the age of 6 years. J Affect Disord. 2016 Oct 18;208:163-169. Free Article


Finnbogadóttir H, Dykes AK. Increasing prevalence and incidence of domestic violence during the pregnancy and one and a half year postpartum, as well as risk factors: -a longitudinal cohort study in Southern Sweden. BMC Pregnancy Childbirth. 2016 Oct 26;16(1):327.  Free Article


Do NC, Secher AL, Cramon P, Ringholm L, Watt T, Damm P, Mathiesen ER.  Quality of life, anxiety and depression symptoms in early and late pregnancy in women with pregestational diabetes. Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand. 2016 Oct 25. [Epub ahead of print]


Çelik SB, Bucaktepe GE, Uluda? A, Bulut ?U, Erdem Ö, Alt?nba? K. Screening mixed depression and bipolarity in the postpartum period at a primary health care center. Compr Psychiatry. 2016 Nov;71:57-62.


Bembich S, Vecchiet C, Cont G, Sustersic C, Valencak F, Demarini S. Maternal cortical response to baby pain and postpartum depressive symptoms.  Biol Psychol. 2016 Oct 5;121(Pt A):12-18.


Kozyrskyj A, Letourneau N, Kang L, Salmani M.  Associations between postpartum depressive symptoms and childhood asthma diminish with child age. Clin Exp Allergy. 2016 Oct 22. [Epub ahead of print]


Brockington I. Some unusual forms of early onset postpartum psychosis.   Arch Womens Ment Health. 2016 Oct 16. [Epub ahead of print]


Leach LS, Poyser C, Cooklin AR, Giallo R. Prevalence and course of anxiety disorders (and symptom levels) in men across the perinatal period: A systematic review. J Affect Disord. 2016 Jan 15;190:675-86. Review.

Related Posts