Pregnant Veterans at Increased Risk of Mental Illness

Mood swings, feeling low and so on are common symptoms associated with pregnancy and now a recent study published in the Journal of Women’s Health found a particular group of pregnant women even more at risk. The study was conducted on the issue of Pregnancy and mental health among women returning from conflict zones such as Afghanistan and Iraq; found that these women are at increased risk of mental health problems.

pregnant veteransThe study found that the risk of mental illnesses such as depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, bipolar disorder, or schizophrenia rises very significantly among pregnant veterans.

It was found that veterans who were pregnant were twice as likely as their non-pregnant counterparts to develop these mental illnesses.

Whereas 21% of non pregnant women had a diagnosis of a mental disorder, as many as 32% of pregnant women had a similar diagnosis.

There are several dangers associated with these kinds of mental illnesses among pregnant women; both for the mother as well as the child – there is seen to be an increased risk of low birth weight or pre-term labor, and even less than optimal emotional development and impaired cognitive development of the child.


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