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Perinatal parental mental health problems 

Perinatal parental mental health problems
Chapter:
Perinatal parental mental health problems
Author(s):

Vivette Glover

, Rebecca Reynolds

, Nick Axford

, and Jane Barlow

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780198788850.003.0004
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date: 14 July 2020

The effect of the environment on a child’s development starts in the womb. Many studies have shown that if the mother is stressed, anxious, or depressed during pregnancy, this increases the risk of a range of physical and neurodevelopmental problems for the child, even after allowing for relevant confounders. There is also strong evidence concerning the impact of both maternal and paternal anxiety and depression on parent–infant interaction in the postnatal period. Although there is good evidence for interventions that reduce depression and anxiety during the perinatal period for women, less is currently known about effective interventions for men or effective methods of prevention more generally. Overall, the evidence points to the importance of starting interventions in pregnancy.

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