Turkish researchers found a correlation between postpartum depression in new mothers and colicky babies.
According to Reuters Health, 78 mothers were evaluated for depression, anxiety and attachment distorder, while the infants were checked for colic. Tweny nine mothers showed an insecure attachment style.
Seventeen infants had colic, while 10 women had a high risk of postpartum depression.
An insecure attachment style was significantly more common among women with infants with colic compared with those with infants without colic, according to the study results, published in the Archives of Diseases in Childhood.
Meanwhile, women with colicky babies were more likely to be at high risk for postpartum depression.
This study illustrates one way mechanism by which unhealthy attachment styles are passed from generation to generation. A woman who hasn't developed the ability to form secure, loving bonds with others is anxious about her new baby. She probably isn't as good at the soulful gazing that's the basis for connection with the baby, and therefore they don't enjoy the pulses of oxytocin that regulate the parasympathetic nervous system, calming them, lowering blood pressure and healing inflammation.
This makes the baby colicky, which makes it harder for it to nurse. This leads to more anxiety in the mother and a further disruption of the oxytocin transfer.
Mother and baby are likely recreating the pattern between the mother and her own mother. It would be interesting if the Marmara University Medical School researchers asked whether the high-risk mothers had themselves had colic. I'd bet they did.