Parents of preemies often depressed after birth

When babies are extremely premature, parents are about 10 times more likely to become depressed than mothers and fathers of full-term, healthy infants, a small study suggests.

Researchers focused on parents of the most vulnerable preemies – those born at 30 weeks gestation or less and admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit.

Pregnancy normally lasts about 40 weeks, and babies born after 37 weeks are considered full term. Most premature babies arrive between 34 and 37 weeks gestation, when they are considered late preterm.

In the new study, mothers of the extreme preemies had 10 times higher odds of depression shortly after giving birth than their peers with full-term babies. Fathers of extreme preterm babies had 11 times the depression risk, researchers report in JAMA Pediatrics.

Read more at Reuters