Women who are pregnant with their first child are being invited to participate in a study concerning depression and pregnancy.
Massey University PhD student Clare Ladyman, from the university’s Sleep-Wake Research Centre, wants to study 30 pregnant women to determine the effect of their sleep patterns on their mental health.
She told Nine To Noon there was a relationship between depression and pregnancy.
“So, someone has poor sleep, then they have an increased risk of experiencing depressive symptoms. But it’s also vice versa, so if they’re experiencing depressive symptoms then they’re much more likely to have poor sleep. That can be quite a vicious cycle.”
Ms Ladyman said it was known sleep influenced the development of depression, how severe it was, how often it occurred and its duration.
There was much research about post-natal depression, but little about antenatal depression, she said.
Some believed pregnancy had a protective effect – “but we know that women are 1.6 times more likely to experience depression than men”.
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Source: Radio New Zealand