Publications

Postpartum Mothers’ Napping and Improved Cognitive Growth Fostering of Infants: Results From a Pilot Study

Little is known about how maternal sleep disturbances in the postpartum period affect mother?infant interaction. The study was designed to assess if less maternal sleep disturbance and less fatigue were associated with more positive mother?child interaction, independent of maternal depression symptoms. Twenty-three mothers completed 1 week of actigraphy and self-report measures of fatigue and depression symptoms. To determine the quality of mother?infant interaction, mothers and infants were then observed in a structured, video-recorded teaching episode. Greater maternal napping frequency was associated with better cognitive growth fostering of the infant (r s = .44, p < .05), a subscale of the interaction assessment. Maternal napping, not the quality or quantity of nocturnal sleep, appears to be associated with improvements in mother?infant interactions.; Little is known about how maternal sleep disturbances in the postpartum period affect mother?infant interaction. The study was designed to assess if less maternal sleep disturbance and less fatigue were associated with more positive mother?child interaction, independent of maternal depression symptoms. Twenty-three mothers completed 1 week of actigraphy and self-report measures of fatigue and depression symptoms. To determine the quality of mother?infant interaction, mothers and infants were then observed in a structured, video-recorded teaching episode. Greater maternal napping frequency was associated with better cognitive growth fostering of the infant (r s = .44, p < .05), a subscale of the interaction assessment. Maternal napping, not the quality or quantity of nocturnal sleep, appears to be associated with improvements in mother?infant interactions.