According to a new study, receiving a viral infection during pregnancy can lead to a change in maternal care. Pregnancy is a special period in a woman’s life, and while she monitors her health, her top priority will always be the baby growing inside her. This means she receives the necessary medical treatment and avoids anything that could make her ill and harm the baby that is growing and developing inside her. Staying clear from viral infections is part of this, but because they can (and do) occur, the best way to be prepared is to have their effects examined.
This study, which is currently only being conducted on a mouse model level, discovered that viral infections can impact the mother’s brain and postpartum behaviour. There have already been studies that illustrate how viral infections can affect the brain and development of the foetus, but little has been seen in the mother.
According to this study, “viral-like immunological activity” during pregnancy can also influence the maternal brain and impair behaviour after birth. When compared to mice who were not exposed to a viral infection, those who experienced such a reaction showed less concern for their youngster.
According to the researchers, this is significant because it may be muting the impulse that mothers have to keep their infants safe. An attachment between mother and child is essential, and this could be what is missing as a result of the viral infection.
While it is true that just because they discovered this in mice does not mean that it would immediately translate to humans, it is a nice preliminary study that will most likely lead to future studies to investigate it further in humans. It can serve as a reminder that women who have had a viral infection during pregnancy are more likely to have a hampered bonding experience with their infant, and when we know more, we can monitor ourselves and our bonding and work on what needs to be worked on.