Here's another reason for mothers to keep on top of their mental state after giving birth: New research suggests that feeling the blues might keep your kids from - literally - growing up.

FOX News Radio's Chris Hoenig explains:

Researchers at Johns Hopkins University's School of Public Health finding that children of mothers with higher levels of postpartum depression were more likely to be shorter than 90% of their peers at ages four and five.  Lead study author Pamela Surkan says they're examining possible reasons why.

(Surkan) "We're thinking about the care-giving that the mother is able to give to the child, given her depressive symptoms."

...Meaning fewer feedings that don't provide the right nutrients.  Even stress may be at play.

(Surkan) "We know that children who are stressed, that that can affect their growth hormone.  And having a mother who's depressed could affect the children's stress levels."

Surkan adds this is one of the first studies to go this far into a child's life.  The findings are published in the journal Pediatrics.

Chris Hoenig, FOX News Radio

EDITOR'S NOTE: Surkan says that, in light of these results, it's even more important for mothers to make sure that their children go to all regular check-ups, especially in the first year after birth.  Pediatricians may be able to pick up on a mother's depression during these visits.