“The use of food to soothe: The role of maternal depression in infant feeding practice and cardiometabolic risk”
This study examines a new conceptual framework to understand one way in which depression and risk for heart disease might be co-developed, or related early in life. We will study infants of mothers with depression and healthy mothers, as infants of mothers with depression are at high risk for developing depression themselves. This study will take place in the offices of a Toronto-based family physician and a pediatrician during regular well-child visits. We will compare infant growth and the risk factors of early heart disease (for example, blood pressure, blood sugar, insulin and lipids) of infants of mothers who are experiencing depression and those who are not. We will also investigate whether mothers with depression feed their infants differently than mothers not experiencing depression, and whether these feeding patterns might be related to the infant’s temperament and infant’s risk of overweight or obesity.