PARENTS

Depression In Pregnancy Can Lead To Sleepless Babies - New Study

13/05/2009 10:19 | Updated 22 May 2015

This seems a bit unfair - a new study has found that depressed mothers-to-be end up with babies that don't sleep well. It's a double whammy.

The trouble with stories like this is that expectant mothers worry about everything, which can easily escalate into depression, and this is just one more thing to panic about.

When I was pregnant, I was forever worrying about stress damaging the baby. Do you see the problem with this?!

I would get stressed about something, which happens often in pregnancy, and then spend the next few hours stressing about having been stressed.

And anything can set you off when you are pregnant, particularly for the first time. Perhaps it was a problem at work, perhaps it was someone looking at me funny, perhaps it was none of my clothes fitting, even the maternity ones...

Then there were the health concerns. I cleaned the kitchen once and then panicked that the chemicals from the Flash spray would have damaged the baby.

I ate some ice-cream, found out afterwards it contained egg, and convinced myself I would contract salmonella.

I walked into a cabinet at work and worried about bumping the bump. It was endless. Just ask my long-suffering husband.

Towards the end of pregnancy, I was in tears most of the time. I thought it was hormones. Now, reading this study, I am wondering whether all the worrying is to blame for my baby's poor sleeping habits.

However, it's not all bad news, the study author, Dr. Roseanne Armitage, reckons that the problem can be reversed.

"We do think that we could develop a behavioural and environmental intervention to improve entrainment of sleep and circadian rhythms in the high risk infants," she says. Oh good. Go on then...

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