Infant crying predicts future mental illness

Associate Professor Frances Thomson-Salo, a consultant infant mental health clinician, said babies were especially sensitive to the stress and anxiety of their parents.

Even prenatal experience of maternal stress could increase the probability of adverse neurodevelopmental outcomes including cognitive deficits and attention deregulation, she said.

“In the womb a flood of stress hormones may turn off genes associated with stress response and the child is at risk of turning into an adult who can’t handle stress,” she said.

But providing early intervention, preferably antenatally when