This section of the APPPAH Newsletter is intended to draw attention to items in the news that are pertinent to prenatal and perinatal psychology. APPPAH does not necessarily agree with, or vouch for, the scientific worthiness of any of the news items mentioned here. We mean merely to take note of what is going on, so that you may.
INFANT FEEDING AND MATERNAL SLEEP
A study published online November 8th in the journal Pediatrics examines infant feeding methods and maternal sleep and daytime functioning during postpartum weeks 2 through 12. Researchers measured total sleep time, sleep efficiency and fragmentation, subjectively reported numbers of nocturnal awakenings, total nocturnal wake time, sleep quality and sleepiness/fatigue.
They report no difference between women who were exclusively breastfeeding, exclusively formula feeding or using a combination of the two methods. They conclude that efforts to encourage women to breastfeed should include information about sleep. In particular, women should be told that formula feeding does not equal improved sleep. To review the study online, go to: http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/cgi/content/abstract/peds.2010-1269v1.
SOFT DRINKS LINKED TO PRETERM DELIVERY?
A study published in the September issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition finds an association between high intake of artificially-sweetened soft drinks and the risk of preterm delivery. However, the association was not found with sugar-sweetened soft drinks, and the authors call for additional investigation. In WebMD's coverage, the lead researcher frames his findings for the public: "We simply need more studies to confirm or reject our findings. It is, however, reasonable to encourage pregnant women to eat healthy and consume non-nutritive foods and beverages in moderation."
EARLY BABY/MOTHER RELATIONSHIPS AND LATER OUTCOMES
A recently published American study shows that babies who are given more love and affection by their mothers cope better with stress when they grow up. The study used data from the Providence Rhode Island birth cohort, and rated the relationships between 482 eight-month-old babies and their mothers during routine developmental assessments. The children were then tracked down at age 34. Results showed that high levels of maternal affection at 8 months were associated with significantly lower levels of distress in adult offspring. These findings suggest that early nurturing and warmth have long-lasting positive effects on mental health well into adulthood. For more details of: Mother's affection at 8 months predicts emotional distress in adulthood, by J Maselko, and others, published in Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, Online First, 26 July 2010, visit: http://jech.