Chapter

Maternal stress, anxiety, and depression during pregnancy: effects on the fetus and the child

Vivette Glover, Kieran O’Donnell and T.G. O’Connor

in Oxford Textbook of Women and Mental Health

Published on behalf of Oxford University Press

ISBN: 9780199214365
Published online July 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199640454 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/med/9780199214365.003.0029

Series: Oxford Textbooks

Maternal stress, anxiety, and depression during pregnancy: effects on the fetus and the child

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The mental health of a woman can be important not only for herself but also for her child. This is especially so during pregnancy and the early postnatal period. While postnatal maternal depression can impair her mothering and thus affect the child via psychological mechanisms, changes in her mood during pregnancy can change her physiology, and this in turn can affect fetal development.

In this chapter we will discuss the evidence that maternal mood during pregnancy can affect the outcome for her child. We will particularly focus on neurodevelopmental outcomes that have implications for psychology and psychiatry, although there is evidence that antenatal maternal stress and anxiety can also have other adverse effects such as causing preterm labour (Homer et al. 1990; Wadhwa et al. 2001.

Chapter.  4142 words. 

Subjects: Psychiatry

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