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

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

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

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