The influence of perinatal and postpartum depression on child development and its functioning in adult life

Julita Szarpak, Damian Bator, Magdalena Wójcik, Hubert Nieścior, Justyna Dąbrowska, Joanna Milanowska



Introduction and purpose: During pregnancy, the physiology of the mother's organism undergoes many changes, and this also applies to the sphere of mental health. Difficulties in adapting to the new situation, metabolic, genetic and environmental factors may predispose expectant mothers to develop depression spectrum disorders. The purpose of this study is, based on the available data, to summarize the consequences of maternal depressive disorder development during pregnancy and postpartum.

Brief description of the state of knowledge: The development of mental disorders by a pregnant woman has a documented negative impact on the course of pregnancy and on the maturation of the fetus. The consequences of excessive stress, anxiety and depression during pregnancy include, among others, an increased risk of premature birth, abnormalities in the development of the nervous system of the fetus, and difficulties in acquiring speech skills in the future life. In mothers, perinatal depression increases the risk of severe psychosis or substance abuse such as alcohol and drugs.

Conclusions: A number of serious complications, both for a woman and a child, related to the occurrence of mental disorders during pregnancy, prompts to focus on the problem of appropriate care for future mothers, not only in physical terms. An important issue is the standardization of diagnostic procedures and the dissemination of screening tests for maternity depression.


pregnancy; maternity depression; postpartum depression

Full Text:



Labaka A, Goñi-Balentziaga O, Lebeña A, Pérez-Tejada J. Biological Sex Differences in Depression: A Systematic Review. Biological Research For Nursing. 2018;20(4):383-392. doi:10.1177/1099800418776082

Angelotta C, Wisner KL. Treating Depression during Pregnancy: Are We Asking the Right Questions? Birth Defects Research. 2017;109(12):879-887. doi:10.1002/bdr2.1074

Gentile S. Untreated depression during pregnancy: Short- and long-term effects in offspring. A systematic review. Neuroscience. 2017;342:154-166. doi:10.1016/j.neuroscience.2015.09.001

Payne JL, Maguire J. Pathophysiological mechanisms implicated in postpartum depression. Frontiers in Neuroendocrinology. 2019;52:165-180. doi:10.1016/j.yfrne.2018.12.001

Abdollahi F, Lye MS, Zain AM, Ghazali SS, Zarghami M. Postnatal depression and its associated factors in women from different cultures. Iranian Journal of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. 2011;5(2):5-11. /pmc/articles/PMC3939973/?report=abstract. Accessed August 29, 2020.

Woody CA, Ferrari AJ, Siskind DJ, Whiteford HA, Harris MG. A systematic review and meta-regression of the prevalence and incidence of perinatal depression. Journal of Affective Disorders. 2017;219:86-92. doi:10.1016/j.jad.2017.05.003

LEARMAN LA. Screening for Depression in Pregnancy and the Postpartum Period. Clinical Obstetrics and Gynecology. 2018;61(3):525-532. doi:10.1097/GRF.0000000000000359

Serati M, Redaelli M, Buoli M, Altamura AC. Perinatal Major Depression Biomarkers: A systematic review. Journal of Affective Disorders. 2016;193:391-404. doi:10.1016/j.jad.2016.01.027

Stewart DE. Depression during Pregnancy. New England Journal of Medicine. 2011;365(17):1605-1611. doi:10.1056/NEJMcp1102730

Cattane N, Räikkönen K, Anniverno R, et al. Depression, obesity and their comorbidity during pregnancy: effects on the offspring’s mental and physical health. Molecular Psychiatry. July 2020. doi:10.1038/s41380-020-0813-6

Trujillo J, Vieira MC, Lepsch J, et al. A systematic review of the associations between maternal nutritional biomarkers and depression and/or anxiety during pregnancy and postpartum. Journal of Affective Disorders. 2018;232:185-203. doi:10.1016/j.jad.2018.02.004

Williams JA, Romero VC, Clinton CM, et al. Vitamin D levels and perinatal depressive symptoms in women at risk: a secondary analysis of the mothers, omega-3, and mental health study. BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth. 2016;16(1):203. doi:10.1186/s12884-016-0988-7

Wiciński M, Malinowski B, Puk O, Socha M, Słupski M. Methyldopa as an inductor of postpartum depression and maternal blues: A review. Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy. 2020;127:110196. doi:10.1016/j.biopha.2020.110196

Becker M, Weinberger T, Chandy A, Schmukler S. Depression During Pregnancy and Postpartum. Current Psychiatry Reports. 2016;18(3):32. doi:10.1007/s11920-016-0664-7

American Psychiatric Association. American Psychiatric Association: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders Fifth Edition.; 2013. doi:10.1176/appi.books.9780890425596.744053

Milgrom J, Gemmill AW. Screening for perinatal depression. Best Practice & Research Clinical Obstetrics & Gynaecology. 2014;28(1):13-23. doi:10.1016/j.bpobgyn.2013.08.014

American Psychiatric Association. American Psychiatric Association: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, Text Revision. American Psychiatric Association. 2000. doi:10.1176/appi.books.9780890423349

O’Hara MW, McCabe JE. Postpartum Depression: Current Status and Future Directions. Annual Review of Clinical Psychology. 2013;9(1):379-407. doi:10.1146/annurev-clinpsy-050212-185612

Rezaie-Keikhaie K, Arbabshastan ME, Rafiemanesh H, Amirshahi M, Ostadkelayeh SM, Arbabisarjou A. Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of the Prevalence of the Maternity Blues in the Postpartum Period. Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic & Neonatal Nursing. 2020;49(2):127-136. doi:10.1016/j.jogn.2020.01.001

Buttner MM, O’Hara MW, Watson D. The Structure of Women’s Mood in the Early Postpartum. Assessment. 2012;19(2):247-256. doi:10.1177/1073191111429388

Zanardo V, Volpe F, de Luca F, et al. Maternity blues: a risk factor for anhedonia, anxiety, and depression components of Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale. The Journal of Maternal-Fetal & Neonatal Medicine. March 2019:1-7. doi:10.1080/14767058.2019.1593363

VanderKruik R, Barreix M, Chou D, Allen T, Say L, Cohen LS. The global prevalence of postpartum psychosis: a systematic review. BMC Psychiatry. 2017;17(1):272. doi:10.1186/s12888-017-1427-7

Pearlstein T. Depression during Pregnancy. Best Practice & Research Clinical Obstetrics & Gynaecology. 2015;29(5):754-764. doi:10.1016/j.bpobgyn.2015.04.004

Kramer MS, Lydon J, Séguin L, et al. Stress pathways to spontaneous preterm birth: The role of stressors, psychological distress, and stress hormones. American Journal of Epidemiology. 2009;169(11):1319-1326. doi:10.1093/aje/kwp061

Räikkönen K, Pesonen A-K, O’Reilly JR, et al. Maternal depressive symptoms during pregnancy, placental expression of genes regulating glucocorticoid and serotonin function and infant regulatory behaviors. Psychological Medicine. 2015;45(15):3217-3226. doi:10.1017/S003329171500121X

Seth S, Lewis A, Saffery R, Lappas M, Galbally M. Maternal Prenatal Mental Health and Placental 11β-HSD2 Gene Expression: Initial Findings from the Mercy Pregnancy and Emotional Wellbeing Study. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 2015;16(11):27482-27496. doi:10.3390/ijms161126034

O’Donnell KJ, Bugge Jensen A, Freeman L, Khalife N, O’Connor TG, Glover V. Maternal prenatal anxiety and downregulation of placental 11β-HSD2. Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2012;37(6):818-826. doi:10.1016/j.psyneuen.2011.09.014

Sandman CA, Davis EP. Neurobehavioral risk is associated with gestational exposure to stress hormones. Expert Review of Endocrinology & Metabolism. 2012;7(4):445-459. doi:10.1586/eem.12.33

Diego MA, Field T, Hernandez-Reif M, Cullen C, Schanberg S, Kuhn C. Prepartum, Postpartum, and Chronic Depression Effects on Newborns. Psychiatry: Interpersonal and Biological Processes. 2004;67(1):63-80. doi:10.1521/psyc.

Ip P, Li TMH, Chan KL, et al. Associations of paternal postpartum depressive symptoms and infant development in a Chinese longitudinal study. Infant Behavior and Development. 2018;53:81-89. doi:10.1016/j.infbeh.2018.08.002

Brummelte S, Galea LAM. Postpartum depression: Etiology, treatment and consequences for maternal care. Hormones and Behavior. 2016;77:153-166. doi:10.1016/j.yhbeh.2015.08.008

Article Metrics

Metrics Loading ...

Metrics powered by PLOS ALM

Journal of Education, Health and Sport formerly Journal of Health Sciences

Declaration on the original version.

Editors indicates that the main version of the magazine is to issue a "electronic".

The journal has had 5 points in Ministry of Science and Higher Education parametric evaluation. § 8. 2) and § 12. 1. 2) 22.02.2019.

1223 Journal of Education, Health and Sport eISSN 2391-8306 7

ISSN 2391-8306 formerly ISSN: 1429-9623 / 2300-665X

Archives 2011 - 2014

PBN 2011 - 2014

POL-index 2011 - 2014

BASE 2011 - 2014

Indexed in Bases, Bazy indeksacyjne: ERIH Plus, Worldcat, PBN/POL-Index, ICI Journals Master List, Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ), ZBD, Ulrich's periodicals, Google Scholar, Polska Bibliografia Lekarska, EuroPub database, NLM Catalog Result - NCBI, BASE, Russian Sciences Index, Arianta.

US NLM = 101679844

101679844 - NLM Catalog Result - NCBI

Find a library that holds this journal:


PBN Poland



Redaction, Publisher and Editorial Office

Publisher and Editorial Office
Department of Physical Culture,
Faculty of Earth Sciences and Spatial Management,
Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń, Poland
Address: Str. Lwowska 1, 87-100 Toruń, Poland

  Open Access ISSN 2391-8306 formerly ISSN: 1429-9623 / 2300-665X

The journal has been approved for inclusion in ERIH PLUS.

The ERIH PLUS listing of the journal is available at

Indexed in Index Copernicus Journals Master List.,p24782242,3.html

ICV 2018 = 95.95 ICV 2017 = 91.30 ICV 2016 = 84.69 ICV 2015 = 93.34 ICV 2014 = 89.51 Standardized Value: 8.27 ICV 2013: 7.32 ICV 2012: 6.41 ICV 20115.48

RG Journal Impact: 0.18 *

*This value is calculated using ResearchGate data and is based on average citation counts from work published in this journal. The data used in the calculation may not be exhaustive.

RG Journal impact history

2020Available summer 2021
2018 / 20190.18

RG Journal impact over time

RG Journal impact

Indexed in Polish Scholarly Bibliography (PBN) (PBN Polska Bibliografia Naukowa) (

is a portal of the Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Education, collecting information on publications of Polish scientists and on Polish and foreign scholarly journals. Polish Scholarly Bibliograhpy is a part of POL-on - System of Information on Higher Education. It is operated by the Interdisciplinary Centre for Mathematical and Computational Modelling, University of Warsaw.

Indexed in Russian Sciences Index Российский индекс научного цитирования (РИНЦ)

Indexed in Arianta Polish scientific and professional electronic journals Aneta Drabek i Arkadiusz Pulikowski


Partnerzy platformy czasopism