The effect of parental mental illness on the child
Parental mental illness can have both direct and indirect effects on the offspring. Many other illness-associated factors, such as the inherited genetic make-up and intrauterine environment, may also have an impact on the child. The risk of a child developing mental health problems is directly proportionate to the number of risk factors present. The psychiatric care of a mother should take into account her mental health during pregnancy as well as the mental images she held regarding the unborn infant by consultation with a worker specialized in families with infants. The interaction between the mother and the infant should be assessed, as well as the situation of other children and the need for assistance in the family.