7 doctors weighed in:

Antenatal depression have anything to do with the unborn child mental health?

7 doctors weighed in
Dr. Kerry Ragain
Clinical Psychology
5 doctors agree

In brief: It could

Studies have shown that elevated levels of the hormone cortisol, the latter of which can be a sequelae of chronic depression due to the stress it often creates for the mother, can adversely and significantly affect the unborn baby's neurodevelopment.
This is one of many other reasons that treatment for maternal depression is absolutely essential.

In brief: It could

Studies have shown that elevated levels of the hormone cortisol, the latter of which can be a sequelae of chronic depression due to the stress it often creates for the mother, can adversely and significantly affect the unborn baby's neurodevelopment.
This is one of many other reasons that treatment for maternal depression is absolutely essential.
Dr. Kerry Ragain
Dr. Kerry Ragain
Thank
Dr. Gary Snead
ADHD & Autism
2 doctors agree

In brief: No

In a way it could depend on how severe the depression is and how it is treated.
Untreated and severe depression could indirectly affect the baby due to poor nutrition or self-medication choices mom might make. Some treatments, medications, are less safe for the baby than others, but that effect on the baby is more physiologic, developmental, than specifically related to baby's mental health.

In brief: No

In a way it could depend on how severe the depression is and how it is treated.
Untreated and severe depression could indirectly affect the baby due to poor nutrition or self-medication choices mom might make. Some treatments, medications, are less safe for the baby than others, but that effect on the baby is more physiologic, developmental, than specifically related to baby's mental health.
Dr. Gary Snead
Dr. Gary Snead
Thank
Dr. Johanna Fricke
Pediatrics - Developmental & Behavioral

In brief: Yes. Studies that

measure maternal cortisol & levels of the neurochemicals dopamine, serotonin & norepinephrine show fetal, neonatal, infant & childhood behavior & growth problems to be worse if mother has chronic rather than episodic depression during pregnancy.
Behavioral characteristics at each stage are found on http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/20970195/. Also, risk of postpartum depression is increased.

In brief: Yes. Studies that

measure maternal cortisol & levels of the neurochemicals dopamine, serotonin & norepinephrine show fetal, neonatal, infant & childhood behavior & growth problems to be worse if mother has chronic rather than episodic depression during pregnancy.
Behavioral characteristics at each stage are found on http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/20970195/. Also, risk of postpartum depression is increased.
Dr. Johanna Fricke
Dr. Johanna Fricke
Thank
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