Your Strength, Your Baby: Reducing Maternal Depression and Promoting Infant Social-Emotional Health and Development
Research shows that the combination of economic disadvantage and lack of nurturing parenting skills result in particularly high infant susceptibility to the effects of early negative parenting. For infants facing early adversity, intervening early and targeting specific nurturing parent behaviors has proven to be effective in promoting infant social-emotional trajectories.
However, maternal depression skyrockets during early infancy, especially for low-income women, and mothers who are depressed struggle to engage in focused parenting-interventions to improve infant outcomes. A very low percentage of mothers seek or receive treatment for postpartum depression and current postpartum depression treatment approaches operate separately from targeted parent programs that promote nurturing parent behaviors demonstrated to improve infant outcomes.
In this subcontract with the University of Georgia, Feil and his team are combining a proven web-based maternal depression intervention with a program to help new mothers learn parenting skills to foster healthy social and emotional development in their infants.