How Postpartum Depression Influences the Newborn?

The sad side of postpartum depression is that it significantly affects both mothers and their children. It influences physical development, emotional stability and growth, and the strength of the bond between the mother and her baby. Besides, depression symptoms can greatly affect the interpersonal relationships between the mothers and babies. These negative effects may last for years. So, let us take a look at some of the possible influences of depressive condition on newborn.

Postpartum depression

Postpartum depression decrease the ability of women to care for their children

As it was already mentioned, postpartum depressive disorder in mothers affects their perception of the babies. Depressed mothers tend to view their babies as “difficult”. This perception does not go away through postpartum depression treatment or even when the depression is over. This means that even years later a mother may view her child as a troublesome kid and this directly affects their behavior and relationships.

When a mother views her newborn as a ‘fussy’ baby, the child is sort of gets preprogrammed to behave this way. Then s/he grows up into a fussy toddler, child or teenager. So, as you may see, the complications of PPD may last for years and cause trouble for many families. Such consequences may ruin family relationships.

Another immediate effect of postpartum depression on a newborn is making them cry. Babies stay very much tuned to their mothers. They perceive the mood swings and downcast moods of their mothers and mirror their emotions. This, in certain measure, oppresses their emotional and cognitive development.

All babies look for life and security in their mothers. However, depressive condition may significantly decrease the ability of women to care for their children. Consequently, the level of tenderness, security and care, received by the newborn also decrease. This affects their ability to form a positive bond with their mothers and slows down their development.

Another problem evoked by the mother’s depression in a newborn is fear. Experiencing the mother’s negative emotions, the baby learns to react negatively and experience fear. This reaction may become prevalent and oppress child’s development and ability to learn.

Besides the emotional or cognitive side effects on a newborn, depressive moods in postpartum period can also have some health effects on the babies. Their emotional stress and sense of isolation from the mother may lead to a weaker immune system and more frequent diseases, such as ARD.

So, as you may see, untreated depression in women may have some serious physical and emotional consequences both for mothers and their newborn babies. Eventually, if not treated timely, it may develop into a postpartum psychosis and lead to some grave consequences up to suicide or infanticide. That is why all the family members of new mothers should stay alert and help them to get timely diagnosed and receive adequate help and treatment for their postpartum depression condition.

Photo by baghi

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