Mental illness linked to stillbirth

Mothers with any form of serious mental illness are more likely to have children who are stillborn or who die within the first month, according to UK research.

For the study, the researchers looked at 1.45 million live births and 7,021 stillbirths over a 25 year period from 1973 to 1998 in Denmark.

Overall, they found that the chances of stillbirth and newborn death from any cause were considerably greater for babies whose mothers had been admitted to hospital for mental illness at any point before the birth of their child, than mothers who had never been admitted.

Women with affective disorders were more than twice as likely to give birth to a child with congenital abnormalities who was stillborn.

Among the 6,646 babies who died within the first month of life, 201 were born to mothers who had been admitted to hospital for mental illness at some point in their lives.

Archive of Disease in Childhood Fetal Neonatal Online 2008

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