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Impact on the Family

Effects of Postpartum Depression in Children

Researchers believe postpartum depression in a mother can affect her baby. It can cause the baby to have:

  • Delays in language development
  • Problems with mother-child bonding
  • Behavior problems
  • Increased crying
  • Low APGAR scores
  • Premature birth (<37 weeks)
  • Low birth weight
  • Withdraw/avoidance in toddlers

Older children may suffer when they lose the attention and support of their mother.

Postpartum Depression in Fathers

A 2006 study of 5,000 families published in the Journal of Pediatrics found depression in 10% of new dads. Postpartum depression in fathers is more than twice as common than in the general adult male population. The incidence of depression is higher when the mother has Postpartum Depression. If both parents experience depression; the effect on the child or children is compounded.

A father who is not depressed can be a protective factor for the family.

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