The crying pattern of normal infants in industrialized societies is characterized by an overall increase until 6 weeks of age followed by a decline until 4 months of age with a preponderance of evening crying. We hypothesized that this "normal" crying could be reduced by supplemental carrying, that is, increased carrying throughout the day in addition to that which occurs during feeding and in response to crying. In a randomized controlled trial, 99 mother-infant pairs were assigned to an increased carrying or control group. At the time of peak crying (6 weeks of age), infants who received supplemental carrying cried and fussed 43% less (1.23 v 2.16 h/d) overall, and 51% less (0.63 v 1.28 hours) during the evening hours (4 PM to midnight). Similar but smaller decreases occurred at 4, 8, and 12 weeks of age. Decreased crying and fussing were associated with increased contentment and feeding frequency but no change in feeding duration or sleep. We conclude that supplemental carrying modifies "normal" crying by reducing the duration and altering the typical pattern of crying and fussing in the first 3 months of life. The relative lack of carrying in our society may predispose to crying and colic in normal infants.
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"Crying, at least in early life, is thought to be largely reflexive, often occurring in response to pain, hunger, or separation from a caregiver (Bell and Ainsworth 1972; Soltis 2004). Much like the solicitation signals of other species (MacLean 1985; Newman 1985), an infant's distress cry ultimately serves to promote proximity between infant and caregiver (Ainsworth 1969; Bowlby 1969; Hunziker and Barr 1986). The sound of a human infant cry is characterized by a high and highly variable pitch, an overall " falling " or " rising–falling " melody, typically with some degree of tremor (or " vibrato " ), and often includes abrupt changes in harmonic structure (Kent and Murray 1982; Golub and Corwin 1985). "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Crying is the most salient vocal signal of distress. The cries of a newborn infant alert adult listeners and often elicit
caregiving behavior. For the parent, rapid responding to an infant in distress is an adaptive behavior, functioning to ensure
offspring survival. The ability to react rapidly requires quick recognition and evaluation of stimuli followed by a co-ordinated
motor response. Previous neuroimaging research has demonstrated early specialized activity in response to infant faces. Using
magnetoencephalography, we found similarly early (100–200 ms) differences in neural responses to infant and adult cry vocalizations
in auditory, emotional, and motor cortical brain regions. We propose that this early differential activity may help to rapidly
identify infant cries and engage affective and motor neural circuitry to promote adaptive behavioral responding, before conscious
awareness. These differences were observed in adults who were not parents, perhaps indicative of a universal brain-based “caregiving
"On average, women who received PREPP reported over two fewer bouts of fuss/cry per day. These results add support to previous findings that demonstrated that the use of specific infant care techniques is effective at reducing infant fuss/cry behavior (Hunziker and Barr 1986; Hiscock et al. 2014). Unlike Hiscock et al. (2014), who found that their intervention reduced crying problems only in babies classified as Bfrequent feeders,^ the current study found that the effects on maternal report of cry behavior were not limited to a subset of infants. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Most interventions to prevent postpartum depression (PPD) focus on the mother rather than the mother-infant dyad. As strong relationships between infant sleep and cry behavior and maternal postpartum mood have been demonstrated by previous research, interventions targeted at the dyad may reduce symptoms of PPD. The goal of the current study was to examine the effectiveness of Practical Resources for Effective Postpartum Parenting (PREPP). PREPP is a new PPD prevention protocol that aims to treat women at risk for PPD by promoting maternally mediated behavioral changes in their infants, while also including mother-focused skills. Results of this randomized control trial (RCT) (n = 54) indicate that this novel, brief intervention was well tolerated and effective in reducing maternal symptoms of anxiety and depression, particularly at 6 weeks postpartum. Additionally, this study found that infants of mothers enrolled in PREPP had fewer bouts of fussing and crying at 6 weeks postpartum than those infants whose mothers were in the Enhanced TAU group. These preliminary results indicate that PREPP has the potential to reduce the incidence of PPD in women at risk and to directly impact the developing mother-child relationship, the mother's view of her child, and child outcomes.
Full-text · Article · Aug 2015 · Archives of Women s Mental Health
"Our laboratory hopes to address the dyadic contribution to PPD with a novel protocol for the prevention of PPD . Practical Resources for Effective Postpartum Parenting ( PREPP ) , cur - rently under study , comprises unique targeted psychotherapy techniques along with the established infant behavioral inter - ventions ( Pinilla and Birch 1993 ; Hunziker and Barr 1986 ) . We hypothesize that women ' s elicitation of behavioral change from their infants may be protective against PPD through several possible mediating pathways : ( 1 ) an increase in par - enting efficacy and resulting diminishment of negative self attributions ; ( 2 ) an improved sense of social support from coaching sessions by the clinician ; ( 3 ) better maternal sleep ; ( 4 ) more effective parenting skills leading to a more respon - sive and rewarding baby ; and ( 5 ) increased attachment to infant . "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: There is considerable public debate over the use of antidepressants in pregnancy. In this article, we offer a commentary on Gail Robinson's important overview of the current controversies. Dr Ronbinson gives a thorough review of the literature, including the risks posed by both antidepressants and depression itself. We summarize her arguments and point out that, in the public conversation, the risks posed to a fetus from antidepressants are consistently overestimated while the risks of untreated depression are consistently underestimated because of the pervasive stigma against mental health. We review recent lay media analyses and urge our fellow physicians to make decisions about prescribing in pregnancy on the basis of evidence and individual patient needs rather than media and stigma.
No preview · Article · Mar 2015 · Journal of Nervous & Mental Disease