During Pregnancy 8.3% women had suicidal thoughts, shows NIMHANS study

During Pregnancy 8.3% women had suicidal thoughts, shows NIMHANS study
Highlights

83 of the pregnant women covered by a National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences NIMHANS study were found to have suicidal thoughts Around 3 of the participants complained of such thoughts after giving birth to a child

Bengaluru: 8.3% of the pregnant women covered by a National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS) study were found to have suicidal thoughts. Around 3% of the participants complained of such thoughts after giving birth to a child.

The study-suicide tendency in pregnancy and early postpartum, involved 700 women, of whom 58 thought of committing suicide. Now, 909 women are part of it, and psychiatrists at the institute are following up on them and their children development.

A child’s emotional and cognitive abilities in the first two years are determined by the stress undergone by the mother during pregnancy, atmosphere at home and her relationship with spouse matters as well.

Age of participants were 23 years, they were recruited with consent . with the study focusing only on women from the lower economic strata, the researchers chose those who had registered for urban primary health centres run by the government.

Majority of the women had completed secondary level of education and were homemakers, 49% of the cases, their spouses were skilled labourers like electricians, plumbers, masons and drivers and 65% of the participants spouses didn't have any history of substance use.

Dr Prabha S Chandra, professor and head of department of psychiatry, Nimhans, said “ We are watching how the mother communicates with the child and how he/she reacts”. The study is looking at the impact of the mother’s stress on child and the latter’s temperament in the first 2-4 years. “ One pregnant woman and two new mothers who were part of the study committed suicide. The stress could be hormonal changes in the body during pregnancy and childbirth, Dr Prabha added.

Depression and social support system and violence in family have a direct link with the newborn's weight. Dr Sowmya Parameshwaran, senior resident, department of psychiatry, Nimhans said that “For the first time in India, we are working on the mental health of a women during pregnancy and after childbirth, and also hoe will it affect the child further”.

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