Premature births send parents into deep depression, study finds

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The study also said that both mothers and fathers experienced overwhelming grief and uncertainty following a pre-term birth.

The study also said that both mothers and fathers experienced overwhelming grief and uncertainty following a pre-term birth.

Parents want their children to be born normal and healthy and without complications; no wonder they fall into deep depression when their child is born pre-term.

In fact, Australian researchers are now alarmed by the high levels of depression suffered by parents of premature babies.

Conducted by Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, a study revealed that these parents are seven times more likely to battle depression.

“The study found 40 per cent of mothers and 36 per cent of fathers suffered from depression in the early weeks after the birth of a premature baby,” says an ABC story. “That compared with 5 to 6 per cent of parents with depression after the birth of a full-term baby (born after 37 weeks’ gestation).”

Their levels of anxiety are also alarmingly high and well above the average.

“In those initial weeks [after birth], we found quite high rates of clinically significant symptoms of depression and anxiety in mums and dads,” said lead author Dr. Carmen Pace.

She and her team of researchers studied over 200 mothers and fathers whose babies were born prior to 30 weeks.

It was also the first longitudinal study involving Australian parents of preterm babies.

“We never actually set out to compare mums and dads in this study but it’s come out that they were pretty similar rates right throughout,” she said.

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