Mothers with depressive symptoms touching newborns

Brenda L. Lundy, Tiffany Field, Anai Cuadra, Graciela Nearing, Maricel Cigales, Michiyo Hashimoto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Previous research has demonstrated the positive effects of early contact on mother-infant touching behaviours. The present study investigated whether the type of maternal touching, shortly after birth, is also determined by the mother's mood state. Mothers with depressive symptoms were compared to non-depressive mothers 1 day after delivery on how they touched their newborns following an initial feeding. The results were counter-intuitive in that no differences were found between mothers with depressive symptoms and non-depressive mothers in type of maternal touching. However, mothers with depressive symptoms talked to their infants less often and talked on the phone more often. In addition, mothers with depressive symptoms showed more neutral and negative facial expressions and fewer positive and more neutral vocal expressions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)129-134
Number of pages6
JournalInfant and Child Development
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1996


  • Depression
  • Infants
  • Mothers
  • Neonates
  • Newborns
  • Touching

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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