Mothers of premature babies are more likely to suffer depression for up to eight years study finds
Every year in Australia, 25,000 babies are born premature — that is before 37 weeks. According to a new study conducted by Melbourne's Royal Women's Hospital mothers who do not receive psychological support after giving birth prematurely are five times more likely to suffer depression than those who do, for up to eight years after their children are born.
The study tracked mothers and babies who received nine-monthly visits from a psychologist and a physiotherapist in the first year of the children's lives and compared them to a control group who did not receive that help. It found 27 per cent of the mothers who were not given the intervention had symptoms of depression and 42 per cent had symptoms of anxiety. Thus the researchers recommend earlier intervention to support the parent-infant relationship.