There are many factors that can influence the development of a baby during pregnancy and after birth. Until recently researchers knew little about the relationship between an pregnant mom’s mental health and how her baby’s brain would develop after it was born.
 
New research suggests that a mom’s mental health can impact the development of her baby’s brain after birth. It shows that babies whose moms had higher levels of anxiety and symptoms of depression may impact the parts of a baby’s brain that plays an important role in healthy brain development and the baby’s mental health outcomes as they get older. 
 
The video below shows how a mom’s interaction can play a role in how a baby reacts.

Did you know dads can experience depression and anxiety which can have an impact on their child’s development?

Moms and dads who experience symptoms of depression or anxiety should talk with their doctor. Signs of depression or anxiety may look like:
  • having trouble concentrating or completing routine tasks
  • loosing your appetite or not feeling interested in food
  • feeling like you’re is not a good mother or father
  • lacking interest in your baby or feel anxious about the baby’s health
  • feeling overwhelmed by your situation and like there’s no hope of things getting better

Getting Help

Resources for families with young children:
  • If you need immediate assistance, please use one of the resources now: Emergency: 911 or Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
  • Programs in Pennsylvania, like Nurse-Family Partnership, Healthy Families America, Family Check up, Early Head Start and Parents As Teachers can help provide support and guidance to new families.
  • Postpartum Support International: PSI Coordinators and other area resources such as groups, telephone support, and reliable services that are available for no charge. Also list local events, trainings and volunteer opportunities.
  • Postpartum Depression Philly: In Philadelphia, many organizations are working together to find better ways to support new mothers with PPD. The goal is to help new mothers, their families and their support systems better understand PPD. 
  • Postpartum Depression and the Baby Blues. Signs, Symptoms, Coping Tips, and Treatment (Helpguide.org)
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: Toll-free 24-hour hotline. 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255); TTY: 1-800-799-4TTY (4889).

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