According to an Australian study, babies of first-time mothers with anxiety are almost five times as likely to be admitted to the hospital with gastro-oesophageal reflux (GOR) or full-blown gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD) in the first year after birth. The authors of the study stressed the findings did not suggest reflux was the fault of anxious mothers, nor did they dispute reflux was a legitimate medical issue or suggest the symptoms were imagined.
They argued the study strengthened calls for mothers to be given more support as they care for their babies during what can be a stressful and lonely period. “An anxious mum can lead to a more anxious baby but a crying baby who never sleeps can create anxiety in the mother and then there can be a rising cycle of anxiety between them. The focus needs to be on giving mothers good psychosocial support to de-escalate this cycle and reduce the need to medicate the babies.” sydney morning herald