August 09, 2004

Schizophrenia Risks During Pregnancy

Obstetricians in France have identified four complications during pregnancy that may be linked to the development of psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia:

1) hormone supplementation by diethylstilbestrol
2) severe maternal malnutrition
3) flu exposure
4) repeated psychological stress

Through analysis of numerous psychiatric studies in literature, obstetricians have determined that the risk of schizophrenia is doubled if the pregnancy involves complications such as the ones listed above. Other complications include maternal diabetes, rhesus incompatibility, bleeding, preeclampsia, premature rupture of the membranes, and premature birth. They noted that the appearance of psychosis in children who had complicated births seems to be earlier in adolescence or in early adulthood.

Scientists presented a two-factor model, suggesting that prenatal or delivery complications that result in a lack of adequate oxygen for the fetus (hypoxic events) could exacerbate a genetic predisposition. Thus, the same prenatal complication that causes cerebral palsy in one child might cause psychosis in another.

The research is published in the European Journal of Obstetrics Gynecology and Reproductive Biology ("Obstetrical complications and subsequent schizophrenia in adolescent and young adult offspring: is there a relationship?" Eur J Obstet Gyn Reprod Biol, 2004:114:2:130-136).

For more information on how pregnancy complications increase the risk for certain psychiatric disorders, and what you can do to reduce your own and your child's risk, see Preventing Schizophrenia via Actions Taken During Pregnancy (

Article: "Study suggests link between obstetrical complications and psychiatric
disease" (Aug 15, 2004)
Source: Health Insurance Law Weekly (, p. 81.


My cousin is pregnant is her partner has drug indused schizaphrenia is there any possibility that the baby will be born with schizaphrenia? can you please send me information on this subject.

Posted by: Deb Muller at August 7, 2005 10:21 PM

Post a comment

Please enter this code to enable your comment -
Remember Me?
(you may use HTML tags for style)
* indicates required