Children Of Depressed Mothers Respond Well To Daycare

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The stigma of dropping your kid off to daycare just saw a slight positive bend. It turns out that children of depressed mothers are less likely to develop behavioral issues by spending a few hours in daycare.

According to MSNBC, children of depressed mommies are four times as likely to exhibit  depression, anxiety, withdrawn behavior, and aggression. But kids who spent a half day in daycare were less likely to develop any develop such disorders.

At present, the researchers on the study aren’t quite sure why these kids respond better to daycare, but they have a couple of hypotheseses. Dr. Margaret Stuber, the Jane and Marc Nathanson Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of California, Los Angeles notes:

Toddlers need someone who is able to respond to their emotional outbursts…Someone who can help them understand their feelings and how to regulate them. Someone who is a sturdy base for them and who can be their home base for going out to explore the world.

As anyone who has spent even five minutes with a toddler knows, they demand copious amounts of socialization which is part of their healthy development.  Mothers suffering from depression are too “overwhelmed” to provide the aforementioned to their babies, and even though daycare employees are not parents, good ones can help with emotion regulation.

Regardless of Mommy’s diagnosis, Dr. C. Neill Epperson, an associate professor of psychiatry and obstetrics and gynecology and director of the Penn Center for Women’s Behavioral Wellness at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, believes that daycare is beneficial for all moms:

A mom needs a mom break — it’s good for everyone’s health…From a clinical perspective giving mommy a break can be very helpful across the board.

Glad to see someone on the science end recognize the needs of mothers, despite how the notion of a mother even having one goes against the cultural grain.