Maternal Symptoms of Anxiety During Pregnancy Affect Infant Neuromotor Development: The Generation R Study

The Generation R Study Group and Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Erasmus Medical Center-Sophia Children's Hospital, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
Developmental Neuropsychology (Impact Factor: 2.24). 07/2009; 34(4):476-93. DOI: 10.1080/87565640902964508
Source: PubMed


Several studies found that maternal symptoms of anxiety or depression are related to functioning and development of the offspring. Within a population-based study of 2,724 children, we investigated the effect of maternal anxiety or depression on infant neuromotor development. Symptoms of anxiety and depression were measured during pregnancy and after giving birth; infant neuromotor development was assessed by trained research nurses during a home visit at the age of 3 months. The current study showed that mothers who were anxious during pregnancy had an elevated risk of having an infant with non-optimal neuromotor development.

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Available from: Henning Tiemeier, Apr 30, 2014
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    • "Accumulating evidence suggests that exposure to maternal prenatal anxiety and stress in the womb may have long-term negative developmental consequences for the baby (e.g. Glover, 2011; Punamaki et al., 2006; Van Batenburg-Eddes et al., 2009). For example, the results of a large longitudinal study (Evans et al., 2011) suggested that prenatal exposure to depression may be more predictive of less optimal child cognitive development than postnatal depression. "
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of the current study was to examine whether parental mental health, parent–infant relationship, infant characteristics and couple's relationship factors were associated with the infant's development. Forty-two families took part at three time points. The first, at 3 months postpartum, involved a video recorded observation (CARE-index) of parent–infant interactions. At 5 months postpartum, in-depth clinical interviews (the Birmingham Interview of Maternal Mental Health) assessed parental mental health and parental perceptions of their relationship with their infant, their partner and their infant's characteristics. Finally, the Bayley Scales III was carried out 17 months postpartum to assess the infants' cognitive, language and motor development. A higher mother–infant relationship quality was significantly associated with more optimal language development, whilst a higher father–infant relationship quality was associated with more advanced motor development. Additionally, maternal postnatal post-traumatic stress disorder had a negative impact on the infant's cognitive development, whilst maternal prenatal depression was associated with a less optimal infant's language development. The largest prediction was afforded by parental perceptions of their infant's characteristics. The findings indicate that such perceptions may be crucial for the infant's development and imply that negative internal parental perceptions should be considered when assessing risk factors or designing interventions to prevent negative child outcomes. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
    Infant and Child Development 07/2014; 23(4). DOI:10.1002/icd.1830 · 1.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The objective of the study was to examine whether infant neuromotor development is determined by fetal size and body symmetry in the general population. This study was embedded within the Generation R Study, a population-based cohort in Rotterdam. In 2965 fetuses, growth parameters were measured in mid-pregnancy and late pregnancy. After birth, at age 9 to 15 wks, neuromotor development was assessed with an adapted version of Touwen's Neurodevelopmental Examination. Less optimal neuromotor development was defined as a score in the highest tertile. We found that higher fetal weight was beneficial to infant neurodevelopment. A fetus with a 1-SD score higher weight in mid-pregnancy had an 11% lower risk of less optimal neuromotor development (OR: 0.89; 95% CI: 0.82-0.97). Similarly, a fetus with a 1-SD score larger abdominal-to-head circumference (AC/HC) ratio had a 13% lower risk of less optimal neuromotor development (OR: 0.87; 95% CI: 0.79-0.96). These associations were also present in late pregnancy. Our findings show that fetal size and body symmetry in pregnancy are associated with infant neuromotor development. These results suggest that differences in infant neuromotor development, a marker of behavioral and cognitive problems, are at least partly caused by processes occurring early in fetal life.
    Pediatric Research 10/2009; 67(2):132-7. DOI:10.1203/PDR.0b013e3181c2dc76 · 2.31 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The Generation R Study is a population-based prospective cohort study from fetal life until young adulthood. The study is designed to identify early environmental and genetic causes of normal and abnormal growth, development and health during fetal life, childhood and adulthood. The study focuses on four primary areas of research: (1) growth and physical development; (2) behavioural and cognitive development; (3) diseases in childhood; and (4) health and healthcare for pregnant women and children. In total, 9,778 mothers with a delivery date from April 2002 until January 2006 were enrolled in the study. General follow-up rates until the age of 4 years exceed 75%. Data collection in mothers, fathers and preschool children included questionnaires, detailed physical and ultrasound examinations, behavioural observations, and biological samples. A genome wide association screen is available in the participating children. Regular detailed hands on assessment are performed from the age of 5 years onwards. Eventually, results forthcoming from the Generation R Study have to contribute to the development of strategies for optimizing health and healthcare for pregnant women and children.
    European Journal of Epidemiology 10/2010; 25(11):823-41. DOI:10.1007/s10654-010-9516-7 · 5.34 Impact Factor
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