New mothers who are mildly iron deficient -- a common result of childbirth among women who dont take their vitamins -- are less emotionally available or in tune with their babies, a Penn State study has shown.
Dr. Laura Murray-Kolb, a National Institute of Mental Health post-doctoral fellow in child development at Penn State who led the study says, "Earlier research had shown that anemic women may experience post-partum depression and that women with moderate iron deficiency have a slow down in thinking and memory. Our new results suggest that the effects of mild iron deficiency -- which are easily correctable with supplements -- can disrupt the solid foundation that is established by healthy mother/infant interactions."
The study, which is the first to focus on the effects of maternal iron deficiency on mother/child interactions, will be detailed April 5 at the Experimental Biology conference in San Diego, Calif. The paper is titled, "Maternal Iron Deficiency Impacts Mother-Child Interaction." The authors are Murray-Kolb; Dr. John L. Beard, professor of nutritional sciences; Dr. Rick O. Gilmore, associate professor of psychology; Dr. Douglas Teti, professor of human development and family studies; and Dr. Eva Perez and Dr. Michael Hendricks, physicians in Cape Town, South Africa.
Barbara Hale | EurekAlert!
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