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Mental Health And Still Born Infants

Wednesday, November 12th, 2008 Mental Health And Still Born Infants

A very worrying report in the Daily Mail (10 11 08) with reference to mental health and still born babies. According to the report women with a history of serious mental illness are more likely to have babies that are stillborn or die within the first month of life.

The research from he University of Manchester and Aarhus University in Denmark, found that the risk of stillbirth for women with schizophrenia was twice as high than for healthy mothers, while women with ‘affective’ disorders such as bipolar disorder were more than twice as likely to give birth to stillborn babies.

However, according to the report, the higher risk of perinatal loss could be partly attributed to ‘factors associated with maternal psychiatric illness in general, such as insufficient attendance for antenatal care and unhealthy lifestyles, rather than the maternal mental illness itself’.

The researchers studied almost 1.5million live births and 7,021 stillbirths in Denmark between 1973 and 1998. Of mothers who had experienced stillbirths, 188 had a history of psychiatric admission before birth. Furthermore the 6,646 neonatal deaths, 201 were the babies of mothers who were previously admitted for psychiatric illness.

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