Perinatal mental health can significantly impact child development

September 23, 2020

A new study published in JAMA Network Open investigated whether perinatal depression and/or anxiety impacted childhood development.

Researchers found that maternal perinatal depression and anxiety were significantly associated with poorer outcomes in cognitive, language, adaptive behavior, social-emotional, and motor skill functions:

  • cognitive (antenatal period, r = −0.12 [95% CI, –0.19 to –0.05]; postnatal period, r = −0.25 [95% CI, –0.39 to –0.09])
  • language (antenatal period, r = −0.11 [95% CI, −0.20 to 0.02]; postnatal period, r = −0.22 [95% CI, −0.40 to 0.03])
  • adaptive behavior (antenatal period, r = −0.26 [95% CI, −0.39 to −0.12])
  • offspring social-emotional (antenatal period, r = 0.21 [95% CI, 0.16-0.27]; postnatal period, r = 0.24 [95% CI, 0.19-0.28])
  • motor (antenatal period, r = −0.07 [95% CI, −0.18 to 0.03]; postnatal period, r = −0.07 [95% CI, −0.16 to 0.03])

Findings also showed that these results went beyond the infant years into childhood and adolescents.

For more information, visit Contemporary Pediatrics.