Postpartum depression linked to undergrowth in children


Postpartum depression in mothers affects their children’s height, according to a new study. The study conducted by Pediatrics journal took into account information from 6,500 children to obtain results about postpartum depression. The main aim of the study was to find whether depression in mothers 9 months after giving birth affected their children in any way during their pre-school and kindergarten days.


The study found that 90 percent of children whose mothers had depression were shorter than their classmates. The results highlighted that the children in the risk group were 40 percent more likely to be below or at the tenth percentile in height by the time they are four years old. Moreover, these children are 48 percent more likely to be at or below a tenth of a percentile in height by the time they are 5 years old.

When they study focused on maternal depression, it found that the children’s weight was not affected at age 4 and 5. The study speculated that some of the main factors in the children being underweight as a result of their mother’s depression included disrupted breast-feeding, unordered sleep patterns, attachment issues and increased stress in children.

Researchers stressed that it is important to detect postpartum depression early, as well as start treatment at the earliest in order to prevent delays in the child’s growth.