Photo: Illustrasjon av Cathrine E. Warvik

Northern Babies Longitudinal Study (NorBaby)

The transition to parenthood is a period of significant biological and psychosocial changes and is associated with an increased risk of depression for both mothers and fathers. The prevalence of postpartum depression (PPD) is between 10% and 15% for women, and between 5% and 10% for men. Studying the factors related to PPD will help to identify families at risk and provide preventive interventions. This can in turn improve the developmental trajectories for the children.

The NorBaby-study is a longitudinal observational study with an intervention. The study explores a range of protective and risk factors for PPD, parent-infant interaction, and child development. Additionally, the study evaluates the effectiveness of The Newborn Behavioral Observation (NBO) as a universal preventive intervention delivered in routine practice. The NBO is a brief relationship-enhancing intervention that may reduce depressive symptomatology in mothers.

Data collection took place between 2015 and 2018 and included 220 families in the municipality of Tromsø. The study has six measurement points from early in pregnancy until the child is 6 months old. Unique to the Norbaby-study is the focus on cognitive vulnerability factors, including early maladaptive schemas, repetitive negative thinking, implicit attitudes, and cognitive processing of emotionally valenced infant facial information.

For a more detailed description of the study: 

Ragnhild Sørensen Høifødt, Dag Nordahl, Gerit Pfuhl, Inger Pauline Landsem, Jens Thimm, Linn Kathrin K. Ilstad et al.:

Protocol for the Northern babies longitudinal study: predicting postpartum depression and improving parent–infant interaction with The Newborn Behavioral Observation; BMJ Open 2017 ARCHIVE / DOI