Maternal anxiety and preterm babies' behavior
International Journal of Developmental and Educational Psychology Revista INFAD de psicología
Mothers of preterm babies present clinical symptoms of anxiety, turning them more fragile and less adapted to initial care for the baby, with consequences upon the global development of the child along time. This study investigated the self-perception of anxiety of preterm babies' mothers at birth and six months later and also about correlations between maternal anxiety and babies' behaviors during the first year of life. Clinical and structured interview with 44 mothers twelve months after
... ve months after hospital discharge. Results reveal a higher level of maternal anxiety at delivery than six months later. It was observed a significant relationship between the feeling of maternal anxiety at delivery and babies' sleep disturbances during the first year of life. Maternal perception of anxiety at delivery was strongly associated with the intensity of fear displayed by the baby in the presence of strangers. Results suggest that maternal anxiety at delivery influences the beginning of the baby's play whose skill is inversely proportional to maternal anxiety. Maternal anxiety after delivery seems to influence mother-baby relationship and baby's behaviors that are indicators of development, inducing a level lower than expected.