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PND linked to how negative emotions are processed

Your brain functions not your hormones may hold the key to understanding postnatal depression

Posted: 20 September 2010
by Kimberley Smith

Women suffering from postnatal depression (PND) process negative emotions differently to new mums who don’t have the condition. A small study has linked the way your brain works to PND rather than surges in hormones after having a baby.

The study took MRI scans of 30 women as they looked at pictures of angry and sad faces. Fourteen of the women were suffering from PND.  They were found to have less activity in the area of the brain thought to pick up on emotional cues and cause emotive responses.

This suggests that women who are suffering from PND tend to shut out negative emotions and may be linked to difficulties bonding with their babies. Though an interesting development in our understanding of the condition, the group of women studied was very small and more research is necessary to develop this idea.

If your baby blues is sticking around read our guide to symptoms and how to deal with postnatal depression.


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