The study is the first to establish a link between colic and depression using a large sample of demographically diverse women. Results will be presented May 2 at the Pediatric Academic Societies' 2006 Annual Meeting in San Francisco. The meeting is the largest academic pediatric gathering in the world.
Pamela High, M.D., served as lead. High is a clinical professor of pediatrics at Brown Medical School and director of developmental-behavioral pediatrics at Hasbro Children's Hospital. She is also head of the Infant Behavior, Cry and Sleep Program run by the Brown Center for the Study of Children at Risk, which is supported by Women & Infants Hospital of Rhode Island.
The research team also included staff from the Rhode Island Department of Health's Division of Family Health, who provided data and analytical support. They are Hannah Kim, senior epidemiologist; Samara Viner-Brown, chief of data and evaluation and director of the Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System, or PRAMS; and Rachel Cain, PRAMS coordinator.
High warned that the work does not show a direct cause-and-effect relationship between a fussy baby and a depressed mom. "We can't say that inconsolability causes depression or that depression causes inconsolability," High said. "However, we did find a link between the two. And this won't surprise anyone who knows a mother coping with a fussy baby."
High directs the Infant Behavior, Cry and Sleep Program known locally as the Colic Clinic in Providence. High and other Colic Clinic staff have helped hundreds of families having trouble with their infants' crying. After conducting an exam and taking a medical history, clinic staffers help new mothers and fathers console their babies, pinpoint
Contact: Wendy Lawton