Mother’s depression, father’s stress has negative influence on kids

Health & Fitness

Two researches, conducted in the US, have found children getting affected due to their parents after they reach adulthood. While one research has found that the quality of relationship between mother and the kid can get impacted due to postnatal depression and have a negative influence on the quality of relationship between grandmothers and grandchildren, the other study has found that the more stress a father experiences, the more the chances of your kid’s brain development getting affected.

According to the US Centres for Disease Control, 11 to 20 per cent of women who give birth each year have symptoms of postpartum depression — a depression in women that occurs after childbirth. The depression not only has an adverse effect on mothers’ relationships with their children, but also impacts kids’ emotional, cognitive and physical development. The findings of the study suggested that factors which affect mother-child relationships in early infancy can have life-long consequences on the relationship that is formed over time. Mothers who had postnatal depression reported lower relationship quality with their kids, including those children who are now adults. Mothers’ relationship with the kid, whose birth triggered the postnatal depression, was found to be specifically worse, and that continued even in adulthood.

Women who suffered from postnatal depression with a child, and then in later life become a grandmother via that child, were found to form a less emotionally close relationship with that grandchild. The researchers hope the findings will encourage the ongoing development and implantation of preventative measures to combat postnatal depression.
The other study has found that stress changes the father’s sperm which can then alter the brain development of the kid. This new research, claim researchers, provides a much better understanding of the key role that fathers play in the brain development of their kids. Earlier, the researchers found adult male mice, experiencing chronic periods of mild stress, have offspring with a reduced response to stress; changes in stress reactivity have been linked to some neuropsychiatric disorders, including depression and PTSD. They isolated the mechanism of the reduced response; they found that the father’s sperm showed changes in a genetic material known as micro-RNA. Micro-RNA is important because they play a key role in which genes become functional proteins. Now, the researchers have unravelled new details about these micro-RNA changes.

In the male reproductive tract, the caput epididymis, the structure where sperm matures, releases tiny vesicles packed with micro-RNA that can fuse with sperm to change its cargo delivered to the egg, they said. The caput epididymis responded to the father’s stress by altering the content of these vesicles, the researchers added.

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