Consistency Of A Mother’s Psychological State Vital To Child Development, New Study Shows

The Huffington Post:

Developing infants can sense what their mothers are feeling, but in an unusual twist, authors of a new study suggest it isn’t necessarily a woman’s mental state that matters — i.e. whether or not she’s depressed — but rather the consistency of the woman’s psychological state before and after she gives birth.

The new study, slated for publication in the December issue of Psychological Science, examines how maternal depression impacts babies’ mental health and motor skills. Researchers from the University of California, Irvine, followed 221 pregnant women through pregnancy and for a year following birth. They split the moms into several groups: women with no depressive symptoms, women with depressive symptoms both before and after pregnancy, and women with no symptoms either before or after pregnancy.

The researchers found that what mattered most was consistency. Development was best among babies whose moms experienced either no depressive symptoms, or who were depressed both before and after birth.

Read the whole story: The Huffington Post

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