Tuesday June 18, 2019

Study Shows Strong Association Between Pregnancy and Depression

For the study, the researchers included over 600 pregnant women who were asked about their satisfaction with appearing pregnant, weight gain concerns, and the physical burdens of pregnancy

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gender inequality
FILE - A woman adjusts cardboard boxes assembled to form a display highlighting the issue of teenage pregnancy in Mexico City, May 29, 2014. VOA
Women go through several physical and emotional changes during pregnancy and their negative attitude towards body changes during this time can lead to depression after childbirth, suggests a new study.
In the study, published in Psychological Assessment journal, the researchers discovered that pregnant women’s feelings about their changing bodies could help predict how well the mother might bond with her unborn baby and her emotional well-being after childbirth.
“Women are under constant pressure about their appearance during pregnancy and after birth,” said Catherine Preston, a psychology expert in body image at University of York, England.
“It is important therefore that pregnancy care is not just about the physical health of the mother and the health of the unborn child, but also about women’s emotional well-being, which can give us a lot of important information about how they might react to being a new mum in the longer-term.”
depression
Depression has significantly increased the risk of early death in women. Wikimedia Commons
For the study, the researchers included over 600 pregnant women who were asked about their satisfaction with appearing pregnant, weight gain concerns, and the physical burdens of pregnancy.
The study’s findings showed that women who felt more positively about their body changes during pregnancy were more likely to have better relationships with their partners; lower depression and anxiety scores; and were better at interpreting their bodily signals. They also showed a more positive attachment to their unborn child.
Whereas, women who had negative feelings about their appearance during pregnancy needed additional emotional support during pregnancy and also required monitoring after birth for signs of postnatal depression.
“There is growing evidence that women’s experience of their body during pregnancy can have a positive or negative impact on both maternal and infant well-being, so more should be done within our care systems to protect women against the more negative effects,” suggested Preston. (IANS)

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Depression May Put Women at Risk of Chronic Diseases, Says Study

Women with both conditions — depression and chronic diseases — were more likely to come from low-income households, be overweight and inactive, smoke tobacco and drink alcohol

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depression
Depression has significantly increased the risk of early death in women. Wikimedia

Women who experience symptoms of depression, even without a clinical diagnosis, are at an increased risk of developing multiple chronic diseases, according to a study.

The study, published in the journal American Psychological Association Health Psychology, examined 7,407 middle-aged women (45-50 years) for over 20 years.

During the study period, 43.2 per cent women experienced elevated symptoms of depression and just under half the cohort were diagnosed or took treatment for depression.

Of the total, 2,035 or 63.6 per cent developed multiple chronic diseases.

“These days many people suffer from multiple chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, stroke and cancer. We looked at how women progress in the development of these chronic diseases before and after the onset of depressive symptoms,” said Xiaolin Xu from the University of Queensland in Australia.

Depression
Depression is a common mental disorder. Flickr

“Experiencing depressive symptoms appeared to amplify the risk of chronic illness,” Xu said, adding that women suffering from depression were 1.8 times more likely to have multiple chronic health conditions.

“After women started experiencing these symptoms, they were 2.4 times more likely to suffer from multiple chronic conditions compared to women without depressive symptoms,” he added.

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Women with both conditions — depression and chronic diseases — were more likely to come from low-income households, be overweight and inactive, smoke tobacco and drink alcohol.

“Maintaining a healthy weight, exercising regularly, eating a balanced diet, and reducing harmful behaviours could help prevent and slow the progression of multiple chronic diseases,” Xu said. (IANS)