A mother’s mental and emotional state is important during pregnancy, as according to The Daily Mail, unborn children may have a higher risk of developing depression if their mothers suffered from psychological stress while pregnant.

Researchers from the University of Singapore surveyed 157 women about their moods, behaviors, and emotions on their 26th week of pregnancy. Two weeks after giving birth, their babies underwent MRI scans to help researchers determine if their mother's psychological state had anything to do with their children's mental development.

The scans showed that babies whose mothers were depressed during pregnancy had "abnormal wiring" in their right amygdala, the part of the brain which processes emotions and memories. This increased the children's chances of developing mood disorders or behavioral problems as they grow older.

To lower this risk, researchers recommend screening mothers early on during the pregnancy. The earlier the situation is addressed, the better for both mother and child.


(Photo by Lisa Rosario via Flickr Creative Commons)

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