Health deteriorates in the first years of motherhood

If a woman has a child, this can have a negative impact on her health. These are the findings of a recent study by the RWI - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research, the University of Duisburg-Essen and the Leibniz Institute for Prevention Research and Epidemiology - BIPS.

Young mother with child in her arms.

Wonderful, but also exhausting: the time after the birth of a child.

While pregnancy and the period immediately after birth are characterized on average by good mental health, prescriptions for antidepressants and the number of psychotherapies, among other things, increase in the first four years of motherhood. There are similar patterns in the prescription of painkillers. In women without another pregnancy, the prescription of antidepressants exceeds the pre-pregnancy level by an average of 44 percent. The analyses are based on billing data from health insurance companies for the years 2004 to 2019. Supplementary survey data was also evaluated.

Further information on the study can be found on the RWI website.