The vast evidence supporting the critical relationship between maternal depression and child health clearly indicates that maternal mental health and child well-being are inextricably linked. According to data from the 2012 MA PRAMS, 5.9% of new mothers reported often or always feeling down, depressed or hopeless (compared with 7.7% during 2007-2008, 9.4% during 2009-2010, and 9.0% in 2011). Survey wordings were slightly different during 2007-2008 and 2012 compared to 2009-2011, and this may account for some of the variation. Hispanic (7.1%) and Black non-Hispanic (10.0%) mothers were more likely to report feeling down, depressed and sad than their White non-Hispanic (4.8%) and Asian (4.0%) counterparts. Mothers living at or below 100% of the federal poverty level (10.8%) were more likely to report feeling down, depressed, or hopeless than those living above 100% of the federal poverty level (3.9%). Children of depressed mothers see their primary care physicians more often and have higher rates of prescription medication use and hospitalizations than children of non-depressed mothers. Detecting and treating depression in pregnant and parenting women can have profound effects on promoting the mental wellness of all family members.
Related Postpartum Depression Web Sites
- Postpartum Depression
- Minnesota Department of Health: Promoting Maternal Mental Health During Pregnancy
- Information for New Parents