Both a mother’s and father’s mental health are associated with increased risk that their baby will be born premature, a new study has found.
The research, led by the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute (MCRI) and published in EClinicalMedicine, found men with persistent mental health problems through adolescence and young adulthood were more likely to have a baby born premature. Women with anxiety and depression during pregnancy were more likely to have a preterm birth.
Study co-lead MCRI’S and Deakin University’s Dr. Elizabeth Spry said prior to this study the impact of maternal and paternal mental health history on offspring preterm birth and birth weight was unknown.
The study involved 398 women and 267 men from the Victorian Intergenerational Health Cohort Study (VIHCS), who were assessed over 15 years for anxiety and depressive symptoms from adolescence to young adulthood and during subsequent pregnancies.
Dr. Spry said