Children Of Depressed Mothers In Developing Countries Less Likely To Thrive, Report Says

“Children of depressed mothers in developing countries are 40 percent more likely to be underweight or stunted than those with mothers in good mental health,” according to a report published in the August edition of the WHO Bulletin, Reuters reports. “The analysis was based on 17 studies of nearly 14,000 mothers and their small children carried out in Africa, Asia, and South America and the Caribbean,” according to the news agency.

Between 15 to 57 percent of mothers in developing countries experience depression because of “poverty, marital conflict, domestic violence and a lack of control over economic resources, it said,” Reuters notes. The study said that affordable treatments for depression, including social support groups, are possible in developing countries, and noted that “[s]ubsequent research should investigate the possibility that poor child growth increases the risk of maternal depression,” according to Reuters (Nebehay, 8/2).

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