Anxiety or depression can reduce the enzymes existing in the placenta breaking down the stress hormone cortisol, thereby causing more foetal exposure to the hormone.
Depression during pregnancy enhances the risk of emotional and behavioral problems in children, informs a new study.
Depression is believed to affect globally at least one in five women in the pregnancy later stages and shortly after birth, while this is characterized by low mood and hopelessness feelings. This is also brought on by several factors such that it can include life events and changes in brain chemistry.
Researchers suggest that depression during pregnancy affects the development of the baby in the womb and also the bonding between mother and child after birth.
Now, the same team is revealing that depression or anxiety reduces the enzyme in the placenta, breaks the stress hormone cortisol and causes foetal exposure. The foetus undergoes epigenetic changes, such that the DNA stays same, but the expression of the DNA is altered, affecting mental health in the childhood.
The team argues this problem is expected to be common in low and middle-income countries, and so resources are required in such areas to help new and expectant mothers.
Especially, deprived regions facing political violence, wars, scare aid after natural disasters, food insecurity and such places need to be taken good care so that they get essential help.
The mental health is poor of the child and the mother in poor countries, while in richer countries intimate partner violence and no social support.
Maternal depression is due to poor nutrition, inadequate antenatal care, increased substance use, pre-eclampsia, preterm delivery, low birth weight and suicide.