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Depression leads to substance use during pregnancy: Study


August 10, 2019 3:04 PM IST

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– Rajat Sharma


Washington. [USA]August 10 (ANI): Researchers have found that depression is the biggest driver of substance use during pregnancy, highlighting the need for more support for pregnant mothers.
It is well known that tobacco, alcohol and cannabis use during pregnancy are associated with poor birth outcomes, but many women continue to use these substances during pregnancy.
Researchers analyzed health and geographic data collected through the Lawson Health Research Institute from more than 25,000 pregnant women in southwestern Ontario.
The results are published in the Journal of Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine.
"Pregnant women who were depressed were 2.6 times more likely to use cannabis and twice as likely to smoke cigarettes and drink alcohol while pregnant," says Dr. Jamie Seirock, an associate professor at Brescia and the Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry at Western and a scholar at the Lawson Institute for the Study of Children's Health.
Seabrook continued: "We do not know when the substance was first introduced, but we do know that it continues during pregnancy and is a big risk factor for poor maternal and baby health."
According to the study, depression during pregnancy is a major risk factor for cannabis, tobacco and alcohol use and more important than education, income or age.
"This really underscores the importance of mental health programming, including strategies to promote mental health, psychotherapy and safe and proper mental health medicines during pregnancy," says Rachel Brown, Ph.D.
Brown added: "The study shows that it has an effect later in life, as well as in babies who are born premature or of low birth weight. In order to intervene or advocate for a mother's mental health programs, the idea is for her to create baby health later in life. "
"Let's help women with their mental health improve their overall health and thus improve their baby's health," Seabrook said. (ANI)

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