Home > Psychiatry > ECNP 2020 > Mental Health > Baby’s heart rate shows stress if their mother is depressed or anxious

Baby’s heart rate shows stress if their mother is depressed or anxious

Presented By
Mr Fabio Blanco-Dormond, University of Heidelberg, Germany
Conference
ECNP 2020
Babies aged 3 months whose mothers suffer from affective disorders show physiologically stronger signs of stress than babies who have healthy mothers. This was shown in a study in which 3-month-old babies were given a standard stress test. They showed a significantly increased heart rate of an average of 8 beats per minute during the non-interactive phase; this may result in imprinted emotional stress later in life [1]. The study was performed with a group of 50 mothers and their babies. The mothers were evaluated using the Diagnostic Interview for Mental Disorders. One or more affective disorders were present in 20 mothers and the other 30 mothers were the control group. Heart rate variability of mothers and their 3-month-old infants was measured with ECG during the still-face paradigm (SFP), a 6-minute task that engages mother and child in playful and stressful situations. Moreover, the children’s behaviour was assessed subjectively by ...


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