Child Growth and Post Natal Depression
Uptil now various studies have been conducted on the consequences of depression in mothers and post natal depression on different areas of child growth. Still there are many milestones that are yet to be achieved related with the real effects. There are several studies which have shown that maternal depression can develop a negative effect on child development and simultaneously there are many studies that have shown that there are no consequences of depression on child development and growth. Maternal depression can certainly create a poor and unhealthy home environment which as a result can have profound effect on the cognitive development of the child.
Although the short term depression does not seriously affect the child development, long term depressions have been reported to produce more grave problems. It is also found that boys are more prone to cognitive development issues than girls when the mother is experiencing depression problems. The impaired cognitive development is not dependent upon the maternal history of depression. Those newborns whose mothers are suffering from depressive disorders are having less scores of the motor and mental development on the Bayley scale which is used to measure the cognitive development rates although this finding is against to a lot of older studies.
In a research with children of 11 years of age, boys of mothers suffering from depression scored much less points on an IQ test as compared to those who have fit and healthy mothers. This particular difference is very much less in girls. In another study, with children of just 3 months of age and having depressed mothers, revealed significantly poorer scores on a scale which measures a wide range of developmental areas including the cognitive development, motor skills development, and the social maturity. It had been recommended that the communication and interaction of child with a depressed mother can have deep effect on the social and various types of cognitive abilities in the latter stages of life of the child. In another study, an effect of bad mother child interaction at the age of 2 months has revealed the poor performance due to impaired cognitive development of child at the age of 5 years.
Mother’s depression has a very bad effect on her relations with the child. When a depressed mother converse with her child, she is unsuccessful to make any changes in her behavior and as a consequence she has formless vocal behaviors with the child. Moreover, in contrast to interaction with healthy mothers when the infants are interrelating with their depressed mothers they are demonstrating signs and symptoms of stress for example elevated pulse rates and increased cortisol hormone levels. Behavioral changes are also found as avoidance behaviors are most common. These may include looking away from the child while talking to him/her.