If you are suffering from anxiety or depression, it can cause sleeping problems in your newborn baby. This was the finding of a new study on the effect of anxiety on the newborn’s health. Researchers from the Pennsylvania State University carried out the study and found that women suffering from depression or anxiety can cause disturbance in their babies’ sleep with the constant worrying.
This is happening because the worry and anxiety of moms makes them disturb their children instead of allowing them to sleep. The anxious or depressed women tend to unnecessarily breastfeed their children, take them in their bed or cuddle them at night when they should be allowing their child to sleep. They have a need for emotional comfort which makes them disturb their baby’s sleep.
According to Douglas Teti, lead author of the study, there is a relationship between maternal depression and night-time parenting and consequently on the infant’s sleep. This study has revealed that. The researchers studied 45 mothers with high levels of symptoms of depression, who were more worried about their children’s sleep. They found that mothers having more symptoms of depression picked up their children a lot more, and also disrupted their sleep in other ways.
The method of the study involved sleep diaries by the mothers, interview by the researchers during home visits, and video recording during one night. According to the research paper published, most mother were found to have a calming routine for bedtime, they avoided non-distressed vocalisations by the baby, and their babies slept through the night (other than young breastfeeding infants).
The interaction of the mothers with their infants varied a lot in those who had more depressive symptoms. They tended to go to the infant if awake although not distressed and even when the baby was sound asleep. They had difficulty in limiting themselves with their children when it was time to sleep.
According to Teti, sleep problems have been often found to go beyond early childhood and they can have a negative effect on various health aspects. The issues of health range from emotional, behavioural to even the ability to perform in academics. He called for developing interventions for mothers who behaved anxiously in order to reduce these negative consequences of a worrying mother for her child. The findings of the research certainly pave the way for further research on avoiding the negative consequences of anxious moms on their babies.
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