Weekly Roundup for MARCH 19, 2021: Recent Publications in Women’s Mental Health

Perinatal depression and children’s developmental outcomes at 2 years postpartum.

Nix L, Nixon E, Quigley J, O’Keane V.  Early Hum Dev. 2021 Mar 13;156:105346. 

In contrast to other studies, this study did not observe any associations between mothers’ depression and children’s social-emotional, cognitive or language development were observed. However, an unexpected positive association between maternal depression and children’s social adaptive behaviour was found, which conferred an advantage on children whose mothers had suffered from depression.  This study was small, however, with 11 depressed participants, 21 with a history of depression, and 29 control participants.  There was significant attrition in the depressed subgroup with 12 out of 23 mothers with depression dropping out of the study before their child was assessed.  


A prospective cohort study of post-traumatic stress disorder and maternal-infant bonding after first childbirth.

Kjerulff KH, Attanasio LB, Sznajder KK, Brubaker LH.  J Psychosom Res. 2021 Mar 17;144:110424. 

Childbirth related PTSD was consistently associated with lower levels of maternal-infant bonding over the course of the first year after first childbirth.


Fetal programming pathway from maternal mental health to infant cortisol functioning: The role of placental 11?-HSD2 mRNA expression.

Galbally M, Watson SJ, Lappas M, de Kloet ER, van Rossum E, Wyrwoll C, Mark P, Lewis AJ.  Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2021 Mar 12;127:105197. 

These findings suggest that the relationship between maternal antenatal depression and anxiety and infant cortisol reactivity is mediated through placental 11?-HSD2 mRNA expression. 


Prenatal exposure to maternal depression is related to the functional connectivity organization underlying emotion perception in 8-10-month-old infants – Preliminary findings.

Rotem-Kohavi N, Virji-Babul N, Oberlander TF.  Infant Behav Dev. 2021 Mar 10;63:101545. 

Infants exposed to high levels of depressive symptoms during pregnancy showed higher modularity – reflecting reduced perceptual-dynamics – for viewing happy emotions compared to sad emotions. The opposite was observed for infants exposed to lower levels of depressive symptoms during pregnancy.   These preliminary findings suggest that prenatal depressive mood may shape early functional organization for viewing emotional faces.

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