Background Although maternal mental illnesses have been found to influence child health and development, little is known about the impact of maternal positive well-being on child health and development. Therefore, this longitudinal study investigated the effects of prenatal subjective well-being on birth outcomes and child development by considering the potential modifier effect of parity. Methods Pregnant women in early stages of pregnancy were recruited at five selected hospitals in Taipei, Taiwan, during their prenatal appointments since 2011. Self-reported evaluations were conducted at seven time points up to 2 years postpartum. Linear regression and generalized estimating equation models were used for examination. Results Higher prenatal eudaimonic well-being was associated with longer gestational length (adjusted beta [aβ] = 0.36, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.03, 0.68) and higher birth weight (aβ = 124.71, 95% CI = 35.75, 213.66). Higher positive and negative affect were associated with longer gestational length (aβ = 0.38, 95% CI = 0.06, 0.70) and smaller birth weight (aβ =-93.51, 95% CI =-178.35,-8.67), respectively. For child's outcomes, we found an association between higher prenatal eudaimonic well-being and decreased risks of suspected developmental delay, particularly for children of multiparous mothers (adjusted odds ratio = 0.18, 95% CI = 0.05, 0.70). Higher levels of prenatal depression and anxiety were significantly associated with increased risks of suspected developmental delay for children of primiparous mothers. Conclusions Positive prenatal maternal mental health may benefit birth outcomes and child development, particularly for children of multiparous mothers. Interventions for improving prenatal mental health may be beneficial for child development.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere77
Pages (from-to)e77
Number of pages29
JournalEuropean Psychiatry
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Nov 4 2022


  • birth outcomes
  • early development
  • parity
  • Subjective well-being

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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