About 1 in 9 mothers suffers from maternal depression, which can affect the mother-infant bond as well as infant development. Touch plays an important role in an infant’s socio-emotional development. Mothers who are depressed are less likely to provide their babies with soothing touch, less able to detect changes in facial expressions, and more likely to have trouble regulating their own emotions. In addition, infants of depressed mothers exhibit similar brain functioning patterns as their depressed mothers, which also are linked to temperament characteristics. Infants of depressed mothers are at a high risk of atypical and potentially dysregulated social interaction.
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