How does a mother's depression affect her children?

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Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
Babies of depressed mothers may develop infantile depression and engage less with people and their environment. In the extreme, they may even fall off the growth curve. Children of chronically depressed moms may have difficulty forming close relationships throughout life. Also, children with depressed moms may be drowsy, passive, more temperamentally difficult, irritable, less able to tolerate separation, and more afraid or more anxious than children of nondepressed mothers. Because depressed moms don’t talk as much to their babies, don’t use “motherese,” and are less responsive to their babies’ cues, these children can experience language delays as well. The good news: Symptoms in children can be reversed if maternal depression is treated.
YOU: Raising Your Child: The Owner's Manual from First Breath to First Grade

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YOU: Raising Your Child: The Owner's Manual from First Breath to First Grade

There’s little doubt that parenting can be one of the most rewarding and satisfying experiences you’ll ever have. But it can be plenty tough, too: Around the clock, you’re working to keep your...

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.