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More Than Just The 'Baby Blues'

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toddler Kristina Afanasyeva/PhotoSpin

Mothers are more important to their children than the fathers through nurture, not just nature, according to The American Journal of Psychiatry. For infants and toddlers, the impact of a mother’s depression can be significant.

During the first year of a baby’s life, an attachment, or an emotional bond, develops between the mother and child. Their attachment is the emotional bond that develops between the mother and baby during the first year of life. The mother helps her child to regulate his or her physical and emotional state, anticipates her child’s needs and responds to her baby’s signals, according to the Child Study Center at Aboutourkids.org.

This attachment relationship is key to the development of the child. It serves as a model for interpersonal relationships and a predictor of a child’s adjustment in the future.

The behaviors of depressed mothers, such as being withdrawn or inconsistent with nurturing, influence the development of their children.

A mother’s nurturing abilities are affected by postpartum depression, which directly affects the child. The child may become depressed as well. Depressed mothers not only affect a child’s behavioral development, but their physical development as well. According to research it may even be possible for the child’s height to be affected.

NBC news reported recently that, nine months after giving birth, mothers who have postpartum depression could have kids that are shorter than others as kindergarteners.

The report, published in the journal Pediatrics, indicated that 5-year-olds with depressed mothers were almost 50 percent more likely to be the shortest 10 percent of kids of that age group.

Mothers that were moderately or severely depressed increased the chance of their kids being short from 40 percent at age 4 to almost 50 percent at age 5, according to the research.

NBC news interviewed Dr. Andrew Leuchter, a professor of psychiatry at the University of California, Los Angeles, who said that the study’s findings may give doctors a new tool and may use a child being short for their age as a warning sign of depressed mothers.

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EmpowHER Guest

Please share the full source that states mothers are more important than fathers in the first year. I am interested to see the full study and how the researchers were able to determine this conclusion.

December 14, 2012 - 8:03pm
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