Mums-to-be who suffer from clinical depression and anxiety during pregnancy are more likely to have smaller babies, who in turn are more likely to struggle in infancy, reports The Times of India.
According to new research carried out between the Karolinska Instituet in Sweden and the Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee (BRAC), mental health issues were more likely to contribute to poor child health than poverty, malnutrition and low socio-economic status.
Researchers assessed the mental health of 720 women in their third trimester from two rural areas of Bangladesh.
“18 % of the women we studied in two rural areas of Bangladesh were diagnosed as having depression and one-quarter as having anxiety during pregnancy, and these women were much more likely to give birth to very small babies,” said Hashima-E- Nasreen, lead author of the study.
“This is a worrying problem, since low birth weight is strongly associated with infant death, which may in turn perpetuate the cycle of mental health problems and underdevelopment,” added Hashima
We know that chilling out while pregnant can be easier said than done at times, but you might find alternative therapies can help. If you’re at all stressed or worried, chat to your GP or midwife.