Danish scientists found that those women who after childbirth are diagnosed with mental disorders in the future about a third less likely to have children. The researchers analyzed data on nearly half a million women who gave birth from 1997 to 2015. The relationship between mental disorders and subsequent pregnancy has gone, if the woman’s baby died shortly after birth and were more pronounced if the woman required psychiatric hospitalization. The article study published in the journal Human Reproduction.
In 2016 Saosin Liu (Liu Xiaoqin) from Aarhus University and her colleagues on a sample of more than 491 thousand Danish women showed that mental disorders within three months after birth, occur in approximately three percent of women. This includes not only a fairly common postpartum depression (affecting up to 13 percent just mothers) and anxiety disorder, but also a little more rare psychosis, mania and even schizophrenia.
Mental disorders have just given birth women may have a negative impact on the first years of the life of her child and his development. But how does this affect the future reproductive life of the woman, is less well known. In the new work, Liu with colleagues decided to fill in this knowledge: they studied, diagnosed as postpartum mental disorder affects whether a woman to give birth yet — and what it will depend.
The study was conducted on the same sample: they calculated that mental disorders after the first child diagnosed 4327 women (about one percent). Among them, the number of second births was lower by about 33 percent compared to those women who do not put psychiatric diagnosis after first birth. However, if the child died after childbirth, the statistical connection was lost: women as often had more children despite the diagnosis. And if a woman with postpartum mental illness was hospitalized, the chance that she may never have children, was higher: among those participating in the new children had already 46 percent less likely if the child survived, and 51 percent less likely if the child died.
Scientists believe that the correlations may have several explanations. Referring to the information that after the death of a child the women were pregnant and gave birth again despite the existence of postpartum mental illness, scientists have noted that the decision to have more children may be (at least partially) due to a personal choice. On the other hand, the fact of hospitalization that is directly related to the severity of the disorder significantly decreased the likelihood that a woman will again have children. In this case, the woman may be afraid of recurrence: in this case, say the authors, it is necessary to give the patient to understand that relapse can be prevented. Finally, its role can be played by external factors: authors, for example, suggest that postpartum mental disorders in women partly can be attributed to poor relationships with partner and family as a whole, which, in turn, arises the decision not to have more children.
The attitude of the family of a pregnant woman can affect not only her willingness to have more than one child. In November last year, scientists foundthat children whose mothers were abused during pregnancy, the IQ was on average 3-5 percent lower.