Author(s): Hollins K
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Abstract PURPOSE OF REVIEW: The aim of this article is to review studies published in English in the last year which examine associations between maternal mental health problems during pregnancy and subsequent development and health outcomes for the fetus, infant, child and adolescent. The body of research into antenatal mental health consequences is now considerable so this article provides an introduction to the field by considering the most recent studies. RECENT FINDINGS: Research in the past 12 months has further developed understanding of the effects of mental health problems including antenatal anxiety and possible mechanisms for its effect on fetal neurodevelopment, infant temperament and later psychological, behavioural and cognitive outcomes for the child and adolescent. Delivery outcome studies again confirm the significant association between various mental illnesses, including depression and preterm birth and low birth weight. SUMMARY: Children's emotional, cognitive and physical health and development are affected by their mothers' mental health whilst pregnant. Prompt identification and referral of pregnant women for specialist treatment is important in order to reduce adverse child outcomes.
This article was published in Curr Opin Obstet Gynecol
and referenced in Journal of Pregnancy and Child Health