Relationship Problems and Depression During Pregnancy
Pregnant and depressed? According to research published March 14, 2011 in the journal BMC Public Health a bad relationship with a husband or partner is the strongest predictor of emotional distress among moms-to-be. The study, conducted in Norway, involved almost 50,000 pregnant women and looked at how these moms felt about their work, family or partner, and compared their bouts of illness, alcohol, and smoking habits. The amount of support women received from their partners had the strongest link with mental health—those women who were most unhappy with their relationships were the most likely to be depressed.
Illness and prenatal complications or problems at work were also linked to prenatal emotional distress. However, a good relationship was a buffer against most everyday stresses. Moms-to-be who expressed that they were happy with their partner were better able to cope with difficulties at work, lack of money, or other stressful situations related to pregnancy.
Your emotional health matters during pregnancy. As other studies have found, moms who experience anxiety and depression put their babies at higher risk for preterm birth, low birth weight, and certain developmental health problems.
Feeling down? Don’t hesitate to look to your doctor or midwife for help. “Failure to recognize and treat emotional distress during pregnancy stores up problems for both mother and child, and impacts continuing family welfare. It is important … that close attention should be paid to women who lack the support of a good relationship,” says study author, Gun-Mette Rosand from the Norwegian Institute of Public Health.
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