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:2/12/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... February 12, 2016 , ... CDRH Enforcement Trends: , Back to the ... , As Winston Churchill said, “Those who don’t learn from history are ... what to expect when they come knocking this year. But that takes time. , ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... , ... February 12, 2016 , ... Each year, the ... be held in Anaheim, CA at the Anaheim Convention Center. Almost 10,000 physical therapists ... new therapy products in action, learn more about their chosen field and network with ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... ... 12, 2016 , ... Coco Libre, the maker of coconut water beverages with ... Style Lounge Event. Coco Libre will offer musicians and celebrities the company’s signature Organic ... The invitation-only gifting suite, held this year at the W Hollywood Hotel, has become ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... ... February 12, 2016 , ... The ThedaCare ... San Francisco General Hospital on April 5-7. The series is a multi-day, multi-workshop ... habits. The workshops cover a broad range of topics, including coaching skills, the ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... , ... February 12, 2016 , ... Every winter, someone ... This winter the West Penn Burn Center, part of the Allegheny Health ... to bring you the “Space Heaters Need Space” campaign. , “Space ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/12/2016)... 2016 /PRNewswire/ - Demers Ambulances announces its first delivery in the ... Okaloosa County Emergency Medical Services (EMS) consisting of ... LT2 van. Quality Emergency Vehicles in Lecanto, FL ... sale.  This is the latest in Demers, ongoing expansion of ... at Demers. --> Benoit LaFortune , Executive Vice ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... HOUSTON , Feb. 12, 2016  Memorial Hermann ... center Dwight Howard to bring a one-of-a-kind ... Hospital . Using cutting-edge technologies such as 360-degree video ... kids both virtually, then literally – giving the patients ... – and it was all caught on video ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... 2016  Aralez Pharmaceuticals Inc. (Nasdaq: ARLZ ) ... will ring the Nasdaq Closing Bell at the Nasdaq ... at 4:00 p.m. ET on Tuesday, February 16, ... Adrian Adams , will perform the honorary bell ... p.m. ET.  A live webcast will be available at: ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: