Stillborn baby risk when mother has mental illness


Tuesday 11th November, 2008

A mother who suffers with serious mental conditions such as schizophrenia has an increased risk of having a stillborn baby or seeing their child die within its first month, according to a new study.

The research was carried out at the University of Manchester and looked at data from around one and half million births in Denmark between 1973 and 1998. More than 7,000 included stillbirths.

The study compared stillbirths among women with no mental health issues with those who had illnesses such as schizophrenia.

Those who had schizophrenia were twice as likely to have a stillborn baby or have their child die within a month of giving birth.

And the risk also increased when other mental health disorders such as bi-polar were present or if the mother had a history of drug and alcohol addiction.

The study suggests that more support is needed for vulnerable women and children particularly if they come from deprived areas as socio-economic factors have an impact on mental well-being.

To learn more about mental health conditions such as bi-polar disorder click here

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