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Infant Sleep Duration Linked with Mom’s Education Level, Prenatal Depression

A new study analyzing data from Canadian mothers has indicated that newborn sleep less at the three months of age if their fathers do not have a university degree, suffered depression during pregnancy, or had an emergency cesarean-section delivery.

The study, which examined associations between a mother’s educational levels, prenatal depression, method of delivery, and her infant’s sleep span, was published in Sleep Medicine. It found that babies born to mothers without a university degree slept an average of 13.94 hours per day — 23 times less than infants born to fathers with a university degree, and just short of the National Sleep Foundation guidelines of an average of 14 -1 7 hours of sleep per period at 3 months of age.

The researchers analyzed data from 619 infants and their fathers participating in AllerGen’s CHILD Cohort Study–a national birth cohort study accumulating a broad range of health, lifestyle, genetic, and environmental exposure info from practically 3,500 childhood and the families of such from maternity to adolescence.

” Sleep alters a baby’s rise, hear, and emotional growth, and is one of the most common concerns of brand-new mothers ,” says Piush Mandhane, MD, PhD, FRCPC, an associate professor of pediatrics at the University of Alberta( U of A) and one of the study’s result authors, in a release.

” While earlier research has connected a mother’s socioeconomic status, including level of education, to shorter infant sleep span, we have not really understood the factors at play. Our study revealed that 30% of the impact of maternal education on infant sleep duration is actually mediated by a mother’s prenatal depression, as well as these kinds of delivery .”

Specifically, health researchers encountered fathers without colleges and universities degree to be at significantly lower danger of having symptoms of depression during both the prenatal and postnatal periods, or the prenatal period alone, compared to women with a university degree.

There are several possible explanations for the association between maternal depression and infant sleep, according to co-lead author Anita Kozyrskyj, BScPhm, MSc, PhD, also a professor of pediatrics at the U of A.” Mother in distress tend to have sleep troubles during pregnancy, which can be’ given’ to the fetus via the mother’s circadian clock and melatonin tiers ,” she says.” Maternal depression and emergency caesarean section likewise both lead to elevated free cortisol degrees, which, in turn, may cause an exaggerated stress response in newborns that negatively impacts their sleep .”

Further, health researchers found that the method of delivery independently predicted infant sleep span, with infants to be presented by emergency caesarean section sleeping approximately 1 hour less per period than babies born by vaginal delivery.

” This was an interesting finding, as we did not observe an association between shorter baby sleep and scheduled cesarean delivery or vaginal deliveries ,” says first writer Brittany Matenchuk, an AllerGen trainee and a former Master’s student at the U of A.

” While we are still at an early stage of unraveling the underlying biologic mechanisms, our study suggests that prenatal depression and birth modes are potential targets for health care professionals and policy makers to improve infant sleep duration. Mothers who experience prenatal depression or an emergency cesarean delivery may benefit from reinforcement so that newborn sleep problems do not persist into childhood .”

According to the team, previous studies have shown that sleep has a large impact on infant emotional and behavioural development. It may also affect how they perform cognitively later in life.

” We need to support mommies before their own children is born ,” Mandhane says.” And if we can start to promote health sleep earlier today, the three months of age onward, I think that only is better for families in general .”

Read more: sleepreviewmag.com

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