New research from the University of Calgary has found women who experience emotionally difficult times as children are more likely to have physical problems during pregnancy and emotional problems afterwards.
“Moms who endured four or more adversities when they were children were more likely to have prenatal problems like gestational diabetes, hypertension and also more difficulties in that postpartum period, including postpartum depression and marital conflict,” said Sheri Madigan, a psychology researcher with the University of Calgary and the Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute.
Examples of adverse childhood experiences in the study included divorce, loss of a parent, having a parent with mental illness or an alcohol/drug problem, witnessing parental conflict and/or suffering from sexual, physical or emotional abuse.
Madigan says children who received support during difficult times did not appear to experience the same issues later on.
“If you had a supportive environment, for example a caregiver who was able to help you through those tough times, then you’re safeguarded some of those difficulties.”
Madigan also says women who sought help for childhood trauma in adulthood also lowered their risk of pregnancy and postpartum issues.
The study was published in the Journal of Pediatrics.