Ensuring a full term birth is a joint responsibility, preterm birth linked to male depression in a recent study.

 Emobileclinic Researchers’ corner: Male depression linked to preterm birth

Depression cuts across gender and is a very serious medical issue which is presently receiving massive attention globally. The effects of depression during pregnancy and after child birth have been medically established in so many studies. ‘Preterm birth is a major cause of infant mortality in high- and middle-income countries, with considerable long-term health consequences for survivors. A major obstacle for strategies to prevent preterm birth is that the precise aetiology remains unclear’ However a recent study published on the 19th of January, 2016 on Willey Online Library this year has additional information on preterm birth with depression on top of the list. 

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 The effect of depression in both couples  has been shown to increase preterm Labor in the study. Having a mother and father who are depressed increase the risk of preterm birth. Dr. Liu, is of the opinion that ‘ the role of the father has a key component in the psychosocial environment of the mother–fetus. According to him, ‘ this has been neglected in researches on birth outcomes and preventive interventions’. Dr. Anders Hjern, an epidemiologist at the Karolinska Institute, says “having a mentally healthy and supportive father who can provide a favorable environment for his partner is also good for the baby. And maternity care interventions should also include the father.

Sometimes the father is forgotten.”

In view of this, the researchers sojourned into this new research; studied 366,499 couples and discovered that prenatal depression has a joint cause. They defined their data using everyone that has filled a prescription for an antidepressant drug or having been in outpatient or inpatient hospital care with a diagnosis of depression from 12 months before conception until 24 weeks after conception. ”An indication of depression after 12 months with no depression was defined as ‘new depression’, whereas all other cases were defined as ‘recurrent depression’’

The results show the new paternal prenatal depression was associated with very preterm birth whereas recurrent paternal depression was not associated with an increased risk of preterm birth. Both new and recurrent maternal prenatal depression were associated with an increased risk of moderately preterm birth.

This shows that both husband and wife has a role to play in ensuring successful full term birth.


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Article Source
  • Prenatal parental depression and preterm birth: a national cohort study
By C Liu Etal
  • NY times





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