Millennial women are significantly more likely to suffer depression during pregnancy than their mothers, researchers say.
A study of young women found mental health problems during pregnancy are 51 per cent more likely than they were a generation ago.
Social media and the pace of modern life are driving up rates of depression and anxiety in mothers-to-be, Bristol University scientists claim.
They tracked 2,390 pregnant women aged between 19 and 24 from 1990 to 1992, and then repeated the procedure with 180 of their daughters who were pregnant between 2012 and 2016.
They found rates of depression and anxiety rose from 17 per cent in the first group to 25 per cent in the second. The scientists believe social changes are to blame.
The pace of modern life is driving up rates of depression and anxiety during pregnancy (stock)
Social media and ‘the fast pace of modern life’ may be to blame
Writing in the journal JAMA Network Open, they said the trend mirrors the general increase in depression among young women in recent years.
But they said the increasing pressures of modern life are ‘amplified’ by pregnancy.
They wrote: ‘It is important to understand the potential changes in society and lifestyle that may have contributed to the observed increase.
‘Chronic stress, sleep deprivation, eating habits, sedentary lifestyle, and the fast pace of modern life may be contributing to an increasing prevalence of depression among young people generally.
DOES SINGING HELP WITH POSTNATAL DEPRESSION?
Singing helps women overcome postnatal depression, research suggested in January 2018.
New mothers who struggle with moderate-to-severe symptoms of the condition recover significantly faster if they sing in a group, a study found.
Although the study did not say why this likely occurs, previous research shows singing benefits depression sufferers by allowing them to express their emotions and aiding relaxation.
Lead researcher Dr Rosie Perkins from the Centre for Performance Science in London, said: ‘Postnatal depress