Navigation Links
Postpartum Depression May Lead to Shorter Kids: Study
Date:9/10/2012

By Jenifer Goodwin
HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, Sept. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Children of mothers who suffer from persistent postpartum depression are more likely to be very short at ages 4 and 5, new research finds.

Researchers examined data on 10,700 children from the nationally representative U.S. Early Childhood Longitudinal Study Birth Cohort. The children were born in 2001 and followed through 2007.

Children of mothers who were depressed during the first nine months of the child's life were 40 percent more likely to be at or below the 10th percentile for height at age 4, and 48 percent more likely to be at or below the 10th percentile for height at age 5 than children of mothers without depression.

Percentile compares how children measure up to other children the same age. Being in the 10th percentile means that the child is shorter than 90 percent of his or her peers.

"What we found is that mothers with higher levels of depressive symptoms in the first year postpartum were more likely to have children who were shorter in stature in preschool and kindergarten age," said lead study author Pamela Surkan, assistant professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, in Baltimore. "This study points to another reason why it's really important for mothers to get help for depression during the postpartum period."

The study is published online Sept. 10 and in the October print issue of the journal Pediatrics.

Experts aren't sure why maternal depression is associated with shorter children, but feeding practices and nutrition likely play a role, said Dr. Michelle Terry, an attending physician at Seattle Children's Hospital and clinical associate professor of pediatrics at the University of Washington School of Medicine.

One symptom of depression can be loss of appetite. "If I'm not hungry, I might not be that interested in what anybody else is eating, including the baby," Terry said.

Depressed mothers also may have insomnia, which could throw off a baby's sleep and feeding schedule. Feeding a baby is also a social interaction, Terry added. "If the mother has mood swings or is ambivalent, the baby may not look forward to eating as a social interaction time," she said.

"What is comes down to is a kind of neglect," she added.

According to the study, maternal depression also can cause children to feel stressed. Chronically high levels of the stress hormone cortisol are associated with lower levels of the growth hormone in children.

Although researchers found an association between maternal depressive symptoms and shorter children, they did not prove that the mother's depression caused the children to be shorter.

Nor did researchers find an association between depression in mothers and skinnier kids -- that is, the children of depressed mothers weren't more likely to be underweight for their height or age.

And, researchers noted, being in the 10th percentile for height isn't necessarily a bad thing. If children have short parents, the kids are likely to be short too.

"If you are small because your parents are small, and genetically you were supposed to be in the 10th percentile, that's fine," Surkan said. "But if the reason you're in the 10th percentile is because you lacked nutrition or because you had a number of illnesses over the course of your early childhood that weren't treated properly, that is a problem."

Stunted growth (usually defined as the 5th percentile or less for height) is associated with higher risk of some diseases and death in childhood and even in the long term, Surkan said.

Previous research also has shown that maternal depression can lead to poorer development, including decreased growth, in the first two years of life, according to background information in the study.

More information

Washington's Department of Early Learning has more on postpartum depression.

SOURCES: Pamela Surkan, Sc.D., assistant professor, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore; Michelle Terry, M.D., attending physician, Seattle Children's Hospital, and clinical associate professor, department of pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine; Sept. 10, 2012, Pediatrics online


'/>"/>
Copyright©2012 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. New hospital guidelines to help mothers at risk of postpartum depression
2. Prenatal diagnosis of congenital heart disease increases maternal stress, depression, and anxiety
3. Targeting inflammation to treat depression
4. Spouses of Heart Attack Victims May Face Heightened Depression Risk
5. How well is depression in women being diagnosed and treated?
6. Tripping the switches on brain growth to treat depression
7. Studies seek better understanding and treatment of depression
8. Yale team discovers how stress and depression can shrink the brain
9. Depression linked with increased risk of peripheral artery disease
10. Yoga proves to reduce depression in pregnant women, boost maternal bonding
11. Grateful Teens May Have Less Risk for Depression, Other Problems
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Postpartum Depression May Lead to Shorter Kids: Study
(Date:12/2/2016)... ... December 02, 2016 , ... Center for Autism and Related ... those affected by autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and other developmental disabilities. The group, which ... give parents and other caregivers the opportunity to share stories and advice, seek help, ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... ... December 02, 2016 , ... ... of two ostomy patients, standing as living proof that attitude and determination can ... diseases and issues that spike around the holidays. This campaign will offer patients ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... ... December 02, 2016 , ... CloudLIMS.com, a class-leading provider of ... Lite. CloudLIMS Lite helps biobanks, clinical, research and testing laboratories keep track of ... new version is a faster and a more efficient product, allowing batch processing ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... ... December 02, 2016 , ... Rijuven Corp launches rejiva ( http://www.rejiva.com ... and night. No other wearable health technology on the market can deliver all that ... poeple more meaningful insights about their health than the usual heart rate and steps ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... ... December 02, 2016 , ... ... needy individuals and families from eight different sites throughout Miami-Dade and Broward counties. ... 1,000 volunteers worked very hard on Thanksgiving morning by putting together individual meals ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:12/2/2016)... YORK , December 2, 2016 ... Research titled "Global Market Study on Automated Endoscope Reprocessors: Single ... a CAGR of 8.6% Between 2016 and 2024 " the global automated ... and is expected to expand at a CAGR of 7.2% ... valuation of US$ 1,367.6 Mn by 2024. ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... , Dec. 2, 2016 In the ... sources apart from those derived from C. sativa, the ... Universita` di Napoli Federico II , the Universita` ... the first comprehensive, critical, integrated and unified inventory of ... article focuses on the remarkable chemical and structural ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... British Columbia , December 2, 2016 bioLytical ... den INSTI HIV-Selbsttest, bei den Mitgliedern des Apothekenbundes von Kenia eingeführt. ... ... INSTI HIV Self Test! (PRNewsFoto/bioLytical Laboratories) ...      (Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20161201/444905 ) ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: