Mother-Child Prenatal & Post-Partum Depression Link

Higher levels of maternal depressive symptoms prenatally and postpartum have been linked to the thinning of the cerebral cortex in young children, new research shows.

The findings suggest that maternal depression in pregnancy could adversely affect a child’s brain development, underscoring the importance of treating depression in pregnant women, lead author Catherine Lebel, PhD, University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada, has stated.

They have found associations between degenerative brain structure in the children and the Mom’s depressive symptoms. It has been known through observation for a long time that Mom’s depressive symptoms in the prenatal and postpartum phases has negative consequences for their children .

“We found an association between brain structure in the kids and maternal depressive symptoms, so, while we cannot say the depressive symptoms cause this, there is definitely something different structurally in the brains of kids whose moms were more depressed,” Dr Lebel said.

Conclusions from this Study                                                                                                                                                         from December 1, 2016Volume 80, Issue 11, Pages 859–868-  Prepartum and Postpartum Maternal Depressive Symptoms Are Related to Children’s Brain Structure in Preschool

“Higher maternal depressive symptoms prenatally and postpartum are associated with altered gray matter structure in children; the observed white matter correlations appear to be uniquely related to the postpartum period. The reduced thickness and diffusivity suggest premature brain development in children exposed to higher maternal perinatal depressive symptoms. These results highlight the importance of ensuring optimal women’s mental health throughout the perinatal period, because maternal depressive symptoms appear to increase children’s vulnerability to nonoptimal brain development”.

Link to the Study Abstract

Now we know that neurofeedback in general has been shown that it can reduce depression symptoms. Both research and clients shared experience demonstrate this truth.  The form of neurofeedback that I have used in clinical practice, now in my tenth year, is highly effective and completely non-invasive.  Simply by reflecting back to the person’s brain its own behavior, the brain is capable to re-normalizing itself, or healing itself.  It is an energy conserving and regenerative system after all.  We just have to know how to communicate with it in its own language and we see life-changing results without side effects form the more traditional neurofeedback approaches or the side effects from medications, both short and long term. And children in the womb are affected by medications that the mother takes.

Our 2014 Independent Study of the NeurOptimal® Survey indicates that 83% of clients/trainers saw 40% or better improvement in depressive symptoms after around 20+ NeurOptimal brain training sessions.

After 1-5 sessions 11% 33% 25% 14% 6% 3% 2% 0% 2% 2% 2% 11%
After 6-10 sessions 0% 11% 19% 19% 15% 19% 4% 6% 2% 3% 1% 36%
After 11-20 sessions 0% 2% 11% 11% 6% 17% 20% 20% 11% 1% 3% 72%
20+ sessions 0% 3% 4% 5% 6% 6% 5% 10% 30% 20% 11% 83%