Association of ante-natal depression with fetal outcome: a review
AuthorTahrim, Nasrin Ahmed
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Antenatal depression is the most prevalent mental health disorder among pregnant mothers which is at the same time, least addressed. If left untreated, antenatal depression can have various potentially harmful outcome on the growing fetus and can also have long term impacts on the children in later lives. The aim of this review is to assess how antepartum exposure to untreated maternal depression affects fetus both in the long-term and short-term. The stressed mother may release hormones that can be damaging to the fetus and cause it to have a reduced immunity, malnourishment and have an impaired neuro development. The consequences of this may cause the child to have learning and cognitive disability. The child in later life may also develop other mental health disorders such as ADHD, schizophrenia, anxiety and depression. However, limited data are available to comprehend the rationale of these effects on the fetus. Researchers should put more importance into finding out the etiology of this disease and reach towards the treatment strategies.