Lack of Dad support can bring onset of ‘Pre-Baby Blues’

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Research that has just been published in BioMed Central’s BMC Public Health  demonstrating how the depression and anxiety in the mum in the run up to the birth of a child is likely to be caused by a bad relationship with the father.

The impacts of this ‘pre-baby blues’ can lead not just to misery for the mum, but also an underweight child, pre-mature birth, and can impact the child long after the birth into its formative years.

50,000 mums to be took part in the Norwegian study, and they were asked about a range of areas in their lives. A pattern began to emerge after all women were asked about their family or partner, their work etc. The answers were compared against bouts of illness they encountered, their drinking and smoking habits etc.

It was demonstrated in the study findings that depending on the level of support the women were in receipt of from their partners, that there was a strong link with mental health. Negative effects were demonstrated in women where the link was worse, either through absence of the male or indifference.

Those who were unhappy with the relationships it became evident were far more likely to suffer from this pre-baby depression and anxiety. Troubles in the workplace experienced by those surveyed along with those suffering from physical illnesses were also seen to be contributory factors towards the psychological ailment, creating stress which in turn leads to the condition in a pregnant woman.

It was determined from evidence collated that even if illness was present and things in the workplace were not at an optimum that a healthy relationship with the father acted as a buffer in way to the negative effects of stress.It was determined that mums to be who were more senior in years than the other subjects were more capable of handling the stresses
Gun-Mette Røsand from the Norwegian Institute of Public Health said, “Failure to recognise and treat emotional distress during pregnancy stores up problems for both mother and child, and impacts continuing family welfare. It is important that antenatal courses should include relationship classes and that close attention should be paid to women who lack the support of a good relationship.”

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