Brain and Behavior Research Foundation

Problems in Early Life Leave Biological Traces in Depressed Moms That May Impair Bonding With Their Babies

Problems in Early Life Leave Biological Traces in Depressed Moms That May Impair Bonding With Their Babies

There is a growing body of evidence indicating that difficulties, experienced early in life or in the present, can predispose a woman to perinatal depression—depression that develops during pregnancy or in the months after childbirth.  While this theory has plausibility based on studies of depressed mothers, the biological mechanisms through which early-life experiences  might affect the brain and, in turn, the behavior and mood of depressed moms, are not known.