Postpartum Depression Can Have a Strange Effect on Your Baby's Appearance

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height chartBecause there isn't enough pressure on new moms already, here's something else to stress us sleep-deprived, semi-neurotic, Google-obsessed women out: If we're not super happy and perfect and positively delighted with ourselves and our babies 24:7 during the first nine months of their lives, they'll be short.

Yep. No longer are we merely responsible for our children's overall happiness, health, safety, and IQ-levels. We're now responsible for their height, as well. Yes, their height! No pressure there, mamas.

Well, those aren't the words exactly, but a new study published in Pediatrics claims that children with moms who say they experienced even mild depressive symptoms nine months after giving birth had a 40 percent higher chance of falling below the 10th percentile in height at age 4. Awesome! Especially since the study's author added: "Physical growth is one of the most important indicators of early childhood health and has long-term consequences for well-being."

To be honest, not sure how much I buy into this study, as there are plenty of short kids out there who are little just because their parents are. Isn't height, um, a little bit genetic? I'm sure there are mothers out there who have been the happiest, most chipper, non-depressive women on earth -- and who have short kids. Heck, I even know a few.

So, let's not go into mass hysteria over these findings -- seriously, new moms have enough on their plates. If women are experiencing postpartum depression, let them just focus on doing what they can -- without worrying that their mood is going to make their kid short. And let's also hope that one day a study will come out that says: Ground-breaking new research shows that the only thing little babies need in their lives is love! Yes, it's very Beatles-esque, but it's true! Simply love your little one to pieces and everything in their lives will be fine! Everything else is just nonsense!

What do you think of this study?


Image via Joelk75/Flickr

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nonmember avatar Michelle

DUMBEST DAMN STUDY EVER. Was it funded by an anti-depressant company (ahem, Pfizer?)??? Stuuuuupid.

Allis... AllisonWD

BWAHAHAeye rolling. I had severe postpartum coupled with ptsd and my son is in the 99% for height at 21 months (over 3 feet tall). I mean come on, height is purely genetic and I'm sad that my tax dollars were wasted on yet another useless study. What next, breast feeding affecting eye color?

Gina Bush

I had severe postpartum depression with my first born. I don't know what percentile he was in at 4 years old, but he is now 15 and 5 inches taller than me.

katyq katyq

oh my god you guys...why is it that every time a study comes out and thestir writers write about it, everyone gets all uppity and "oh god, that's bs, who did that study? it couldn't be farther from the truth"...wellllll guys, they didn't say your kids "will" be short, just that there is a 40 percent chance that your childs height can be affected by maternal depression during infancy. No one is saying we are all going to have midget kids...just calllllm dowwwn.

nonmember avatar Megan

I went through my husbands affair and our divorce during the immediate postpartum period of my second daughter. No depression diagnosis or pills, just dealt with the normal deep cut, lost numbness of divorce.
Our entire family line on both sides, and her older sister are in the 90th or above percentile for height....she however is barely reaching the 50th...
Might be some truth to it but who knows.

MIA0223 MIA0223

So wrong.

I had it bad and DD has always been almost off the charts for height.

corri... corrinacs

I don't think I believe in this at all....perhaps more studies, but it just doesn't seem right. And how much "shorter" are we talking about?  


Its not really a study you can do though.....perhaps they are connected, but that dosen't mean that PPD causes shorter kids.

nonmember avatar MO Mom

My mom's whole side of the family is short. Does that mean ALL the generations of women had PPD? Doubtful. I agree with Michelle about Pfizer.

Cat Hunt

YEAHHH, I had no post pardum depression, my son barely makes the 15th percentile. BUT his dad is only 5' 7" HELLO!

tel4him tel4him

Totally NOT true!  I had PPD with all 3 of my kids.  My DD has always been the tallest in her age group and the 2 boys have been average to above average.  Whatever!!

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