Children born of unplanned pregnancies in women who suffer from chronic medical issues and have records of alcohol and drug consumption develop psychological issues in later years.
Risk Factors During Pregnancy That Induce Mental Health Problems In Adult Years
According to a study conducted by researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital, a combination of two or more risk factors significantly increases such probability.
Such psychological issues can be both psychiatric and behavioral in nature.
Identifying the factors that contribute to the condition.
Dr. Joshua Roffman, director of the Massachusetts General Early Brain Development Initiative, stated that, although individual factors that caused such issues were initially known, the combined effects of such factors were recently discovered.
According to the research, infants who were exposed to two or more of the six injurious factors were prone to scoring higher in Child Behavior Checklist. It is a test used to assess mental health in children and teenagers.
This checklist subsists of parameters that make up the syndrome scale.
These parameters are anxious/depressed, withdrawn/depressed, somatic complaint and social problems, thought and attention problems, aggressive and rule-breaking behavior.
The six detrimental factors include unplanned pregnancies, alcohol or other substance abuse before pregnancy was detected, complicated pregnancies like those with high blood pressure or gestational diabetes, and complicated labor or delivery.
Figures are backing up the facts.
For the above research, 10000 children were examined, who were between 9 to 10 years of age and belonging to 21 different communities from various states.
It showed that children whose mothers did not face any trouble during pregnancy had only a 7% probability of developing any psychological issue.
Contrarily, those children whose mother faced four or more of the complications had a 29% chance of developing such conditions.
The pediatric psychologist at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, Dr. Parker Huston, stated that the mother and child share the same physiological system during pregnancy, so any stress on the mother directly affects the child.
Since the developing brain of the child is the most sensitive organ, it gets more impacted.
Socioeconomic condition and its influence.
Researchers identified a correlation between mental health and the socioeconomic status of the mother and the kind of exposures the child had after birth. Such a relation also played a role in the psychiatric symptoms in childhood.
To substantiate the observation, a study was conducted. A group of siblings was chosen who had different exposures during the period of pregnancy.
The result was that the sibling who faced a higher number of exposures had an increased risk of developing psychiatric symptoms.
The effects of infection or stress during pregnancy were not taken into account for the study, which could alter the results.
The crucial takeaway of the research.
The impact of these exposures on brain health and development is still not fully known.
However, it holds significance because it can guide the doctors and mothers about the development of the child and protect the baby from any such future risks.
According to Huston, these findings will help in preparing the safe measures ahead of time. Such measures are to keep the expectant mothers safe, so they can proceed with healthy pregnancies and deliver healthy children.
These data will provide a much-needed foresight into the issue of children’s mental health in the States.
An analysis of the 2016 National Survey of Children Health stated that one out of six children in America has some mental disorder.
These children are between 6 to 17 years of age and suffer from treatable conditions like depression, anxiety, or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
It was also observed that these children don’t receive any medical help in terms of mental health.
Hence, the latest study imparts a ray of hope that awareness can be raised among pregnant women, their family and the physicians to create a safer environment for the infants.