Home News Childrens Health News Tx of Postnatal Depression Tied to Better Maternal, Offspring Outcomes

Tx of Postnatal Depression Tied to Better Maternal, Offspring Outcomes

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor treatment tied to lower risk for maternal mental health problems and child externalizing behaviors across early childhood

By Lori Solomon HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, Aug. 31, 2023 (HealthDay News) — Postnatal selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) treatment is associated with long-term benefits for women with postnatal depression and their offspring, according to a study published online Aug. 29 in JAMA Network Open.

Chaoyu Liu, M.D., Ph.D., from King’s College in London, and colleagues examined whether postnatal SSRI treatment moderated postnatal depression-associated maternal and child outcomes across the early childhood years. The analysis included 61,081 mother-child dyads.

The researchers found that 14.2 percent of mothers met the criteria for postnatal depression diagnosis, with 2.0 percent receiving postnatal SSRI treatment. More severe postnatal depression symptoms were associated with a range of adverse maternal and child outcomes. Postnatal SSRI treatment lessened negative associations between postnatal depression and maternal relationship satisfaction at postpartum month 6 (moderation β, 0.13), year 1.5 (moderation β, 0.11), and year 3 (moderation β, 0.12). Postnatal SSRI treatment also lessened negative associations with child attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder at age 5 years (moderation β, −0.15). Negative associations between postnatal depression and maternal depression, partner relationship satisfaction, and child externalizing problems were mitigated with postnatal SSRI treatment.

“This study potentially provides valuable information for clinicians and women with postnatal depression to make informed treatment decisions,” the authors write.

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