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Mothers with mental health issues more likely to have babies with reflux

First published on HealthTimes – March 20th, 2018



nfants admitted to the two NSW residential parenting services Karitane and Tresillian within their first year for gastro-oesophageal reflux (GOR) or gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD) had a strong association of maternal anxiety, according to a study undertaken by Western Sydney University.

While the focus group analysis discussed the reasons for the increase in GOR/GORD diagnosis in recent years, and the overlap between the parental social influences; the medical model of care; and the medical over-diagnosis and tendency to prescribe medications before treating underlying psychological factors, the data did show maternal health pre- and post- birth played a role in the rate of infant oesophageal, respiratory and sleep difficulties.

Research leader Professor Hannah Dahlen from the University’s School of Nursing and Midwifery says,
“A cycle of anxiety in the mother and unsettled behaviour in the baby, leads to more anxiety in the mother and therefore a more unsettled baby.”