Easing maternal anxiety: an update

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Abstract

Maternal mental health is an important public health issue because of its effects not only on the mother’s well-being and functional status, but also her relationship with her partner and the development of her children. There is accumulating evidence of the adverse sequelae of maternal anxiety on fetal development, obstetrical complications, pregnancy outcomes such as low birth weight, and subsequent child development. Evaluation of maternal anxiety and intervention to reduce these symptoms, may ensure optimal developmental outcomes, particularly in high-risk infants such as those born at very low birth weights. This article will outline recent advances in our understanding of the etiology, assessment and impact of maternal anxiety, and describe intervention strategies to promote maternal well-being.

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