Maternal depressive symptoms are associated with slower fetal growth rate in the critical rapid growth stage (CRGS) before delivery, according to a study published online Dec. 4 in JAMA Network Open.
Lu Zhang, M.P.H., from Sichuan University in Chengdu, China, and colleagues conducted a prospective multicenter birth cohort study to examine the association between maternal depressive symptoms and fetal growth during the CRGS before delivery. A total of 2,676 mother-offspring dyads were included.
The researchers observed a significant correlation between a higher score of depressive symptoms in mothers and a slower rate of fetal growth across femur length, abdominal circumference, and estimated fetal weight (β = −0.40, −1.97, and −50.11, respectively) after adjustment for confounders. In female fetuses or those with better family socioeconomic conditions, these associations were found to be stronger.
“These findings underscore the importance of early detection and management of maternal depressive symptoms during pregnancy, particularly among women with higher socioeconomic status or female fetuses,” the authors write.
Lu Zhang et al, Maternal Prenatal Depressive Symptoms and Fetal Growth During the Critical Rapid Growth Stage, JAMA Network Open (2023). DOI: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2023.46018
JAMA Network Open
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