Research Summary

A cohort study on the effect of prenatal exposure to maternal cortisol and psychological distress on child development in Bengaluru, southern India


Hypothesis 1 : Maternal self reported  psychological distress is  associated with adverse child motor and cognitive development

Hypothesis 2 : Elevated maternal cortisol level   is associated with adverse child motor and cognitive development

Study Procedures

The study will be conducted among 2 pregnant women availing of antenatal care at two public sector hospitals in Bengaluru. The baseline assessment will be done at the time of recruitment between 14-28 weeks (early to mid pregnancy). A. questionnaire will be administered to collect data on socio-demographic characteristics, obstetric, medical and psychiatric past histories.

Further assessments will be done (i) 37–38 weeks of gestation (late pregnancy), and at (ii) 10 days (iii)  3 , 8 months (iv)  12 months after birth.(v)once every year upto three years.

The presence of maternal psychological  distress will be  identified by using Kessler 10 Scale of Psychological Distress (K10)  for prenatal depression  and  the 10-item Pregnancy related anxiety (PRA) scale  for pregnancy anxiety. Maternal saliva samples will be collected for cortical analyses during early, mid and late pregnancy. The infant will be assessed by Bayleys Scale of Infant and toddler development at 3 months, 8 months, 1 year, 2 year and 3 years of age.