The differences between each parents' stress and happiness may boil down to how, and when, childcare activities are split between the parties. Fathers tend to be less stressed and happier, especially if their childcare activities are more recreational. Maternal stress is higher, and happiness is lower, as they tend to provide more of the hands-on parenting.
Many pregnant women are turning to marijuana to help curb morning sickness during early pregnancy. A new study reports maternal marijuana use may be detrimental to the brain development of children. Exposure to THC in utero can cause learning and memory problems in children that may continue through adolescence.
Psychologists warn parental burnout needs to be taken more seriously by both partners and clinicians. A new study reveals burnt out parents experience escape ideations, and show an increased risk of neglect and violence toward their children. Supporting a parent experiencing burnout by letting them relax and avoid exhaustion reduces negative feelings and is also good for the children.
Breast milk may help train the circadian clock in young babies. The hormonal composition of breast milk changes throughout the day, with cortisol levels being higher in the morning and melatonin levels being higher at night.
Parents who use marijuana and alcohol are more likely to use both non-violent and violent discipline on their children than those who do not use substances. The annual frequency of physical abuse was 0.5 times higher in those parents who had used alcohol and marijuana in the past year.
Previous research into the effects of lithium exposure via breastmilk are poorly designed and sparse, researchers report. Until more research is done, mothers and babies should be reviewed on a case-by-case basis for lithium continuation, as discontinuing the medication could pose a significant risk for both child and parent.
Unsupportive parenting and early life stress can lead to premature aging and associated health risks in children. Researchers say adults who faced early life stress had shorter telomeres than their peers who did not.
Fathers who sleep more than other fathers experience lower overall well-being and closeness with their partners and children, while women who are able to sleep more report a greater sense of well-being. The study also found exercise impacts parental moods, reporting on days where men exercise more than usual, they are less likely to argue. By contrast, mothers who embark on more physical activity during the day experienced higher levels of emotional negativity and were more likely to have arguments. Researchers speculate this could be a result of paternal 'stress' of taking up the primary caregiving role for a time to allow his wife time to herself, causing a more argumentative state in males.
A new study reports lightly stroking an infant, at a speed of 3 centimeters per second, can help to provide pain relief prior to medical procedures.