Sleep disturbances in depressed pregnant women and their newborns

Tiffany Field, Miguel Diego, Maria Hernandez-Reif, Barbara Figueiredo, Saul Schanberg, Cynthia Kuhn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

117 Scopus citations


Pregnant women (N = 253) were recruited during their second trimester of pregnancy (M = 22.3 weeks gestation) and assigned to depressed (N = 83) and non-depressed groups based on a SCID diagnosis of depression. They were then given self-report measures on sleep disturbance, depression, anxiety and anger, and their urine was assayed for norepinephrine and cortisol. These measures were repeated during their third trimester (M = 32.4 weeks). Their newborns were then observed during sleep. During both the second and third trimesters, the depressed women had more sleep disturbances and higher depression, anxiety and anger scores. They also had higher norepinephrine and cortisol levels. The newborns of the depressed mothers also had more sleep disturbances including less time in deep sleep and more time in indeterminate (disorganized) sleep, and they were more active and cried/fussed more.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)127-133
Number of pages7
JournalInfant Behavior and Development
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2007


  • Maternal depression
  • Newborns
  • Sleep disturbance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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