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 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.
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