Here’s more evidence of the ripple effect of postpartum depression and it’s not good:
“In the latest issue of the prestigious journal Development and Psychopathology, Forman and his team admit they were surprised to discover that successful therapy for mothers with postpartum depression was not enough to foster good relations with their babies and that a mother’s early impressions of her newborn could linger for years.”
The 18-month study, led by David Forman and a team of researchers from the University of Iowa (co-authored by the wonderful Michael O’Hara who is tops in PPD research) looked at women who were recovering from postpartum depression and how this impacted their attitudes toward their children beyond their recovery.
Here’s what they found:
“A common denominator among recovered postpartum mothers was how they continued to rate their babies as very fussy. By age two, children of depressed mothers were more likely to show behaviour problems than children of other mothers. ‘Even though all depressed mothers received treatment and most were symptom-free, postpartum mothers reported their toddlers as less securely attached,’ Forman said. “
Clearly, the significance of monitoring attachment issues and parental attitude during treatment for postpartum depression cannot be ignored. Forman says it this way: “We should never assume that babies will be fine once postpartum mothers begin feeling better.”
Clinicians should take note.