Objective: To examine the relation between the mood and anxiety of pregnant, psychiatrically treated women and neonatal health outcomes after birth.
Method: We prospectively assessed 46 women treated with psychotropic medications for anxiety and depression during pregnancy. We compared measures of maternal mental health with infant outcomes, in particular, the outcomes of infants with symptoms of poor neonatal adaptation.
Results: The mothers of babies who demonstrated poor neonatal adaptation reported higher levels of anxiety and depression at study entry than did the mothers of healthy babies. This relation was not related to the presence or absence of treatment with clonazepam, an anxiolytic used to treat symptoms of anxiety. Further, increased psychiatric comorbidity in the mother was associated with a greater likelihood of transient symptoms in the newborn.
Conclusions: Despite psychiatric treatment, the intensity and degree of comorbid symptoms appear to be related to poor transient neonatal health outcome. Our data suggest that, in addition to the impact of pharmacologic factors, maternal psychiatric status influences infant outcomes.