Maternal depression and increased fetal activity

J. N.I. Dieter, T. Field, M. Hernandez-Reif, N. A. Jones, J. P. Lecanuet, F. A. Salman, M. Redzepi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

59 Scopus citations


Pregnant women with (n=45) and without (n=45) symptoms of depression (CES-D score of 16 or more) were provided ultrasound examinations during the second and third trimesters. An analysis of variance on the cross-sectional data yielded a significant diagnosis by gestational month interaction effect (P<0.05). The fetuses of depressed mothers spent significantly more time being active during the fifth, sixth and seventh gestational months than fetuses of non-depressed mothers. A stepwise regression analysis revealed that 35% of the variance in time being active could be accounted for by the combined depression and trait anxiety scores of the mothers. These findings suggest that maternal depression correlated with increased fetal activity. These data also highlight the need for research on the potential effects of stress hormones on fetal activity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)468-473
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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