Infantile Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders and Maternal Psychological Status: A Narrative Review

Author(s): Raffaella Panza, Maria Elisabetta Baldassarre*, Antonio Di Mauro, Alessandra Cervinara, Manuela Capozza, Nicola Laforgia

Journal Name: Current Pediatric Reviews

Volume 17 , Issue 2 , 2021

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Graphical Abstract:


Background: Functional gastrointestinal disorders are often extremely distressing for the infant and parents, leading to infant discomfort and crying, parental anxiety, repeated healthcare consultations, and escalating healthcare costs.

Aim: In this narrative review, we analyzed the relationship between maternal psychological status during pregnancy and postpartum and the main infantile functional gastrointestinal disorders.

Materials and Methods: The narrative review was conducted searching scientific databases for articles reporting on infantile functional gastrointestinal disorders in association with maternal depressive or anxiety disorders.

Results: Seven studies were suitable.

Discussion: Maternal psychological disorders may be correlated to infantile functional gastrointestinal disorders. Whether it is the excessive crying that favors the onset of maternal psychological disorders or, in contrast, an altered attachment style due to the maternal status that facilitates the onset of functional gastrointestinal disorders in the infant is still an open question. Recent findings revealed that both anxious and depressed mothers are more likely to have an adverse gut microbiome.

Conclusion: A healthy interaction of the mother-baby dyad is advantageous in ensuring the mental and physical development of the offspring. Gynecologists, general practitioners and pediatricians should be alert for early identification of mothers at risk with the aim to initiate timely targeted interventions. Further research on the role of microbiota and the possible therapeutic approaches with probiotics is required.

Keywords: Functional gastrointestinal disorder, FGIDs, colic, gastroesophageal reflux, infant, anxiety disorder, depressive disorder.

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Article Details

Year: 2021
Published on: 08 February, 2021
Page: [111 - 119]
Pages: 9
DOI: 10.2174/1573396317666210208155106
Price: $65

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