Psychosocial distress during pregnancy and the risk of infantile colic: a follow-up study

Acta Paediatr. 2003 Jul;92(7):811-6. doi: 10.1080/08035250310003857.


Aim: To examine the association between psychosocial exposures during pregnancy and the risk of infantile colic.

Methods: The study included 378 infants and was conducted as a substudy of the Danish National Birth Cohort from 1997 to 1999, with prenatal data collected twice during pregnancy. A diary with a record for postpartum weeks 4-8 was used to quantify the amount of the infants' crying and fussing.

Results: The cumulative incidence proportion of infantile colic was 8.2%. A threefold increased risk of infantile colic (OR = 3.7; 95% CI: 1.1-13.2) was found for mothers who reported distress during pregnancy. Close to a twofold increased risk of IC was found for the women who scored higher than 8 on the psychological distress scale (adjusted OR = 1.9; 95% CI: 0.5-7.2).

Conclusion: The results indicate that general distress during pregnancy influences the risk of infantile colic. Whether or not this relationship is causal requires further investigations.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Colic / epidemiology*
  • Depression / epidemiology*
  • Depression / psychology*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Life Change Events
  • Medical Records
  • Mothers / psychology*
  • Mothers / statistics & numerical data*
  • Perinatology
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications
  • Psychology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires