"Depressed mothers more likely to wake sleeping babies unnecessarily"

"Researchers have found that depressed and excessively anxious moms may actually be fueling their own exhaustion by waking their babies at night.

To our surprise, we found that moms with elevated depressive symptoms and those with elevated worry were much more likely to seek out their babies in the middle of the night and be with them even when their babies didn’t need attention,” says Teti. “Some babies were sound asleep and their mothers would pick them up and disrupt their sleep.”


"They then investigated whether the mothers' symptoms of depression caused them to behave in ways that affected their infants' sleep, or whether infants' night awakenings led their mothers to be more depressed, perhaps because of lack of sleep.

The researchers found that it's the depression-linked behavior of mothers that interferes with infants' sleep.

Mothers who are feeling depressed may seek emotional comfort by going to their infants during the night, the researchers explained."

- US News

Posted on April 18, 2012 .