A new study suggests that you might be passing on more to your kids than just your eye color or your laugh. Researchers in a large UK study have concluded that mothers who are clinically depressed while pregnant run a higher risk of having children who develop depression as adolescents.
The findings of the study were published in the medical journal JAMA Psychiatry Wednesday. The study examined almost 9,000 parents in the southwest corner of England, and tracked their children to age 18. They found that among populations with lower levels of education and income, mothers who suffered from postpartum depression and fathers who suffered clinical depression at the same time were also more likely to have kids who developed the disorder in their teen years.
In addition, the more severely the woman suffered depression during pregnancy or immediately afterwards, the higher the risk her child will develop it later in life. The authors of the study hope these findings will help doctors focus on treating depression in pregnant women, especially those in lower income groups who seem to run a higher risk.