Struggle: Researchers found that mothers with greater symptoms of depression and worries behaved in ways that disrupted their babies' sleep
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2131564/Babies-likely-sleep-problems-mothers-depressed.html#ixzz1sPHYqE00
Babies are more likely to have problems sleeping if their mothers are depressed, a study has found.
Researchers from Pennsylvania State University found that mothers with greater symptoms of depression and worries behaved in ways that disrupted their babies' sleep.
The depressed mothers were more likely to pick up their sleeping babies and move them into their own bed to silence fears about whether the child was hungry, thirsty or comfortable, the study published in journal Child Development found.
They were also more likely to respond to baby sounds that don't necessarily require a response.
'This study provides insights about maternal depression's effects on nighttime parenting and how such parenting affects infant sleep,' lead author and professor at the university, Douglas M Teti, said.
Researchers studied 45 mostly white mothers and their babies, who ranged in age from one to 24 months, in home visits across seven consecutive days.
They collected information about the mothers and their symptoms of depression, asked them about their feelings and their babies' sleep, and made them keep a daily diary of their babies' sleep behavior. They also video-taped mothers with their infants on the last night.
'Although we found greater support for mothers' behavior explaining the relation between depressive symptoms and infant night wakings, it's likely that both infants and parents influence infant sleep,' notes Teti. 'This helps us better understand what factors influence infants' sleep in homes in which mothers are depressed.
'Sleep problems often endure beyond early childhood and can have a negative effect on various aspects of development, including emotional, behavioral, and academic functioning.
'Understanding how maternal depression and sleep problems combine to affect children's development is important to developing interventions to help reduce these negative consequences.'
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2131564/Babies-likely-sleep-problems-mothers-depressed.html#ixzz1sPHPhG7Q