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A study of 7,000 pregnant women revealed that pregnant women who are depressed tend to have lower birth weight babies because their depression is often accompanied by destructive behavior such as smoking, drinking or delayed prenatal care. Researchers feel that authorities should put more focus on the mental health of pregnant women in order to reduce health problems in infants. The study reported that women with depression symptoms produced babies weighing 150 to 250 grams less than those with fewer depression symptoms. Researchers believe more study needs to be done on the role of economic welfare in the development of depression and how it is dealt with. Previous attempts to improve level of prenatal care by providing extra finances would probably be more effective if it was replaced with treatment of depression. Pregnant women should be screened for depression. Some experts believe that smoking and drinking during pregnancy are symptoms of depression.
Source: summary of medical news story as reported by Concord Monitor
About: Depressed pregnant women are more likely to have low birth weight babies
Date: 16 January 2005
Source: Concord Monitor
Author: Allison Steele
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