by Cassandra R. Elias
A new study by the University of British Columbia, revealed that new mothers in their early forties are five times more likely to suffer depression after giving birth compared to their younger counterparts.
Researcher Giulia Muraca, a graduate student at the University of British Columbia, believes this could be due to higher stress levels among older mothers caused, in part, by anxiety about their pregnancy, potential birth complications and the higher risks of age-related issues.
Muraca also suggested concerns around maternity leave and returning to work could be contributing factors.
Speaking at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAS) in Vancouver, she stated, "Anxiety during pregnancy has been found to be one of the strongest predictors of depression after childbirth. There is a lot of rhetoric talking about the biological risk, and that is really discomforting for women in that age group."
The study found that women aged 40-44 who had recently given birth had a five time greater chance of experiencing depression than women in younger age groups. Researchers analyzed the data of 8,000 Canadian women who answered a questionnaire within five years of giving birth.
Muraca said the research was "hugely exciting" because it pointed to "a potential high risk population that is growing, and has been for the past two decades."
She added, "We need to be able to counsel women and raise awareness of what the psychological consequences may be of birth timing."
Are you an older mom or mom-to-be? What do you think of these findings?
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