Behavioral Responses of Newborns of Insulin-Dependent and Nondiabetic, Healthy Mothers

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Abstract

The purpose of this study was to compare the behavioral responses of term newborns of insulin-dependent diabetic mothers (NDMs) with newborns of nondiabetic, healthy mothers. The research design involved matched controls with repeated measures. Participants included 40 NDMs matched with 40 newborns of nondiabetic, healthy mothers. The main outcome measures were the seven dimensions of the Neonatal Behavioral Assessment Scale (NBAS) and the modal response score. The results showed that NDMs performed significantly poorer than their matched controls on motor processes and reflex functioning. For all newborns, motor processes, autonomic stability, reflex functioning, and the modal performance score were better on Day 2 than Day 1. It was concluded that although NDMs' behavioral responses improved by Day 2, their overall pattern of responses could be described as listless or sluggish. Due to their poorer motor and reflex responses, NDMs may require increased efforts to facilitate sensitive maternal responding during their first days of life.

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