BBC News released an article: “Depression ‘doubles’ early birth.”

Here are some are excerpts:

[begin excerpts]

Women who are severely depressed during pregnancy have twice the risk of
their babies coming early, a study suggests.

Researchers monitored 791 women during pregnancy – two fifths of whom
reported significant depressed feelings, the Human Reproduction journal said.

While those with severe depression had twice the risk, mild depression
led to a 60% increased risk.

The team said the condition could prompt early birth by changing hormone

The majority of babies born before 37 weeks – the official definition of
premature birth – have few problems, but early delivery remains the
leading cause of infant mortality, and experts are unclear as to
precisely what causes it.


The results established a clear relationship between the severity of
depression and the likelihood of early birth, with risk doubling for
those worst affected.


There was also limited evidence that other factors, such as obesity, and
the number of “stressful” events, could increase the risk posed by
depression yet further.

Dr De-Kun Li, who led the study, said that levels of hormones which help
fix the onset of labour might be altered by depression.

“This adds to emerging evidence that depression during early pregnancy
may interfere with the neuroendocrine pathways and subsequently
placental function.

“Depression during pregnancy is significantly under-recognised and under-
diagnosed – clinicians should pay close attention to catch it early.”

A study last year also found a link between depression and pregnancy,
although on average, the condition led to delivery only a couple of days

However, Professor Vivette Glover, from Imperial College London, said
that the effects of depression, stress and anxiety on pregnancy were
starting to be recognised.

“There are several studies suggesting that stress during pregnancy
increases the risk of early delivery.


Professor Glover pointed to experimental programmes in the US – now
under consideration in the UK – which supported women intensively during
pregnancy to cut the rate of child developmental problems and even youth
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