Maternal Mental Health and Infant Dietary Patterns in a Statewide Sample of Maryland WIC Participants
By Hurley K, Black M, Merry B, Caulfield L
The study’s objective was to examine the relation between maternal mental health and infant dietary intake. A cross-sectional, population-based telephone survey was employed within a statewide sample of Maryland Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children participants. A 24-h diet recall was performed using the United States Department of Agriculture Automated Multiple-Pass Method. Analyses presented were based on 689 mother-infant pairs. Overall, 36.5% of mothers reported introducing solids to their infants early (<4 months of age), and 40% reported adding cereal to their infant‘s bottle. Among 0-6-month-old infants, higher infant energy intake was associated with symptoms of maternal stress [β=0.02; confidence interval (CI): 0.01, 0.04], depression (β=0.04; CI: 0.01, 0.06) and overall maternal psychological distress (β=0.02; CI: 0.003, 0.03). With early introduction of solids in the model, the significant associations between infant energy intake and maternal stress and maternal psychological distress became marginal (P’s=0.06-0.10). The association between infant energy intake and maternal depression remained significant (β=0.03; CI: 0.01, 0.06). Among 4-6-month-old infants, intakes of breads and cereals were higher among mothers who reported more symptoms of stress (β=0.12; CI: 0.04, 0.23), depression (β=0.19; CI: 0.03, 0.34), anxiety (β=0.15; CI: 0.02, 0.27) and overall psychological distress (β=0.04; CI: 0.01, 0.07). Among 7-12-month-old infants, dietary intake was not related to mental health symptoms. Findings suggest poorer infant feeding practices and higher infant dietary intake during the first 6 months of age in the context of maternal mental health symptoms. Further research is needed to evaluate these effects on child dietary habits and growth patterns over time.
March 21, 2018
Hurley K, Black M, Merry B, Caulfield L (2015) Maternal Mental Health and Infant Dietary Patterns in a Statewide Sample of Maryland WIC Participants. Maternal & Child Nutrition: Vol. 11, Issue 2, pp. 229-239. Available online: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/mcn.12004