Maternal iron deficiency can lead to mothers being less emotionally involved with their children after birth. This was the result of a new study done by researchers of Pennsylvania State University.
Iron deficiency at the time of pregnancy and childbirth was previously related to post-partum depression and slowing down of thinking and memory in women. The new study suggests that bonding with their newborns is also affected by iron deficiency and may lead to disrupted relationship between the mother and the child.
The study had videotaped the interactions of 64 mothers who had iron deficiency and 31 mothers who had a normal blood count interacting with their children after birth. Half of the iron deficient women were given iron supplements after delivery of babies. All the women were videotaped again after 9 months to know the long term effect on iron deficiency on the behavior of mothers to their children.
The results of the observations showed that for women who had suffered iron deficiency, not only behaved less responsibly towards their children and were less available emotionally to them, babies of such mothers were also less attached to their mothers than others.
Reference: Penn State University, News Release April 2005