Forget about weight gain, maternity leave, juggling baby and career, and prenatal health concerns. Guess what stresses expecting moms the most? Dads-to-be, specifically the type who is ambivalent even before baby arrives.
A new study says that unsupportive fathers-to-be depress expecting moms the most, which not only is harmful to their health, but can threaten the health of the unborn child. This kind of depression has been linked to premature delivery, low birth-weight and a host of ill effects later in a child’s life, reports the BMC Public Health journal.
Researchers studied 50,000 pregnant Norwegian women and found that the biggest predictor of maternal blues is a woman’s concerns about her relationship with her partner, according to Time’s online health site.
Stories about guys like these surface again and again in the conversations of Circle of Moms Single Moms community members.
Kim T. is a mom who says her husband was not supportive through the pregnancies of either of their children. “I was so stressed out that I had my second baby weeks early (he spent a week in the Special Care Unit)."
And Sernna A. shares a pretty straightforward plea for help: “I'm one month pregnant and so depressed. Is this normal?" As she explains: “My husband is emotionless, he doesn't support me and is not responsible at all."
Depression doesn't just affect moms, it can have a serious impact on the baby as well.
A separate study, researchers at Columbia University and The University of Michigan found that in contrast to the fetuses of pregnant women with normal moods, fetuses of depressed women show signs of distress when the women are asked to do a challenging mental task.
Scientists say the effects of depression during gestation and premature birth have wide implications for society and that this is an important public health issue, according to Time.
"Failure to recognize and treat emotional distress during pregnancy stores up problems for both mother and child, and impacts continuing family welfare," says one of the co-authors, Gun-Mette Rosand, in Time.
Any tips for finding support during pregnancy when you don't have a supportive partner or husband?
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