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Antenatal stress and infant reactivity

Prenatal and postnatal depression in mothers have been found to be associated with a number of disturbances in children’s development; from the earliest weeks in the womb, right through to adolescence.  These effects can include changes in foetal behaviour, a higher incidence of preterm deliveries and low birth weight, a higher incidence of behavioural and emotional problems in childhood, and an increased incidence of anxiety and depression during adolescence.  A number of hypotheses have been proposed to explain these associations. However, these mechanisms are still poorly understood. In collaboration with Dr Paul Ramchandani at Imperial College London, we are carrying out a number of studies investigating the effect of antenatal stress and depression on fetal and infant reactivity.  For more information on this work, visit www.ppod.org.uk/


Researchers:  Dr Susannah Murphy, Dr Paul Ramchandani, Elizabeth Braithwaite

Projects

Oxford Pregnancy Study

Oxford Mindfulness in Pregnancy Study