Impact of antenatal and postpartum maternal mental illness: how are the children?

Clin Obstet Gynecol. 2009 Sep;52(3):441-55. doi: 10.1097/GRF.0b013e3181b52930.


Prospective studies that begin during pregnancy and follow the mothers and children into adolescence have shown that maternal mental illness during the antenatal and postpartum period can have long-lasting negative consequences on the developing child. The findings from these prospective studies and a discussion of the consistencies and inconsistencies in the current literature are presented. The effects of maternal anxiety and depression during the perinatal period on cognitive, behavioral, and psychologic development from infancy through adolescence are examined.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anxiety / epidemiology
  • Anxiety / psychology
  • Child
  • Depression / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Mental Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Mother-Child Relations*
  • Mothers / psychology*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / epidemiology*
  • Prenatal Exposure Delayed Effects / epidemiology
  • Prevalence
  • Psychological Tests
  • Stress, Psychological / epidemiology
  • Stress, Psychological / psychology