Postpartum Depression And Its Long-term Impact On Children: Many New Questions

Weissman, Myrna M.

Just when it seemed that nothing new could be written about the clinical effects of maternal depression on offspring, an article has appeared that deepens our insight and raises new, interesting questions. Using data from the British Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC), Netsi et al1 examine the long-term course and impact of persistent, severe postpartum depression on a child. The ALSPAC is an ongoing population-based study examining the overall health of children. It enrolled all pregnant women in a section of southwest England who delivered between April 1991 and December 1992 (n = 9848), with attrition over the years.

The results show that children of women with persistent and moderate or severe postpartum depression, compared with women with postpartum depression that was neither persistent nor severe, had subsequent adverse outcomes. The ALSPAC study1 followed the course of maternal illness and child outcomes for 18 years across a large sample while simultaneously using new outcomes and a novel analytic approach. The analysis identified a highly vulnerable group of mothers and their offspring.


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February 1, 2022