Babies are able to determine the mental state of their mothers when in the womb and that may affect how they develop after they are born, a new study published in the journal Psychological Science reveals.
It is common knowledge that the physical well being of the mother directly affects how the baby develops after it is born. However researchers from University of California suggest that even the mental state of the expectant mother is crucial for the development of the baby after feeling depressed or stressed out may directly affect how the baby grows after it is born.
The researchers recruited a number of pregnant women and tested them for various mental conditions including depression before and after the birth. The researchers found that the babies whose mothers displayed a consistent form of mental state before and after birth showed the best development compared to those babies whose mothers were healthy before or after the birth.
"Now, the cynical interpretation of our results would be that if a mother is depressed before birth, you should leave her that way for the well-being of the infant. A more reasonable approach would be to treat women who present with prenatal depression. We know how to deal with depression", lead researcher Curt Sandman said.