‘Do They Kick Out Pregnant People?’ Navigating College With Kids

When Akiya Parks first got to campus at the University of Florida, everything was new and exciting. Her mom and brother had driven her to campus and moved her into the dorms, she’d agreed to try a long-distance relationship with her high school boyfriend, she was ready to start a new chapter in Gainesville.

This was a dream come true: No one in Parks’ family had ever gone to college before, and her good grades, volunteer work and commitment to her community had earned her a full-ride scholarship — nearly everything was paid for. She got a new laptop, she bonded with her roommate and she crafted her schedule.

But a few weeks into classes, she started feeling sick. At first, she thought college food just wasn’t sitting well, but it wasn’t the food.

Full story at npr.org

Teen depression: Mom’s mental health during pregnancy affects children later in life, study finds

Teenagers are more likely to be depressed if their mothers were depressed while pregnant, according to a new study.

Mothers’ depression after giving birth was also tied to their children’s mental health years later, but possibly for different reasons, researchers found.

Depression during pregnancy may affect a baby through stress hormones that move across the placenta, Rebecca Pearson, from the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom, and her colleagues said.

That goes against the suggestion of some researchers that depression is only important if it continues past the end of pregnancy and affects parenting.

“It should be treated during pregnancy, irrespective of if it continues during birth. It’s as important during pregnancy,” Pearson said.

She said the findings mean therapy should be made available to pregnant women with depression whenever possible. They also add another layer to the debate over the use of antidepressants in pregnancy.

Full story of teen depression and parenting at The Star

Depressed moms, depressed offspring: An unbroken chain?

A baby born to a woman who suffers depression during pregnancy stands a higher likelihood of becoming a depressed adolescent than does his or her nursery-mate born to a nondepressed mother, a new study finds.

A large British study also found that among those with less education, a mother’s postpartum depression — as well as a father’s depression following his baby’s birth — similarly raised the odds that that offspring would go on the become depressed. Mothers and fathers with more education who became depressed after a baby’s birth appeared less likely to sow the seeds of later depression in the child.

The child’s odds of going on to suffer depression rose steadily as the severity of his mother’s depression during pregnancy increased. And for women with lower education, a case of severe postpartum depression was linked to a higher likelihood that her child would suffer depression by late adolescence than if her postpartum symptoms were milder.

The findings, published Wednesday in the journal JAMA Psychiatry, underscore the importance of treating depression in pregnant women, the authors wrote. And they suggest that a child whose mother was depressed while carrying him would be a good candidate for early intervention aimed at nipping melancholia in the bud.

Full story of depression between moms and offspring at The Los Angeles Times

Autism Risk May Be Raised for Children When Labor Induced

Boys born to mothers who needed their doctor to start or help along the birth may have a higher risk of autism, a study found.

Boys whose mothers had labors that were induced, which stimulates the uterus to bring on contractions, or augmented, which increases the strength, duration and frequency of contractions, had a 35 percent greater risk of autism then children whose mothers didn’t need those procedures to help the births, according to research in JAMA Pediatrics.

The study released yesterday is the largest to examine the potential link between birth procedures and autism and to find that males may be more affected than females, said Simon Gregory, the lead author. While induced labors help reduce deaths among mothers and babies, more studies are needed to better understand why these procedures may raise autism risk, he said.

“The study shows there is an elevated risk around augmentation and induction, however we haven’t found cause and effect,” Gregory, an associate professor of medicine and medical genetics at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina, said in a telephone interview. “The results don’t dictate there be any change in any clinical practices surrounding birth. The dangers to the mothers and the infants by not inducting or augmenting far outweigh the elevated risk for development of autism.”

Full story of autism risk raised when labor is induced at Bloomberg