Want to Keep Your Baby Colic-Free? Have a Happy Relationship

A study found a link between mother's relationship happiness and baby's risk of colic. Because another thing to worry about is JUST what a mom-to-be needs...

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Want to keep your baby colic-free? According to a new study, your best bet might be maintaining happiness in your relationship. Because we need the pressure of staying lovey-dovey and romantic during those last months of pregnancy and while we're taking on the immense responsibility of parenting a newborn—am I right? And while this study is worth considering, it's also kind of frustrating. Do new mamas really need another thing to stress over during an already difficult time?

The research comes from the Penn State College of Medicine, and it touches on familiar territory: That maternal anxiety, depression and social distress can negatively affect offspring. The findings are published in Child: Care, Health and Development.

The researchers surveyed 3,000 women around Pennsylvania during their pregnancies and for a month after they gave birth—they measured their relationship happiness and levels of social support. According to the study's findings, relationship happiness appears to be protective against colic. 

But while these findings aren't exactly what we wanted to hear, they do, in some ways, make sense. It's been said that babies can sense their parents' happiness, and if you're a mom yourself, you know that arguments with your partner can affect your little one. We also wonder if the relationship between these factors works both ways: If a baby has colic, it stands to reason that this would stress out his or her parents, and that could obviously put a damper on their relationship. What comes first: The protection against colic...or the relationship happiness?

But since you may not be feeling especially romantic at the moment, consider this: General social support appears to help the issue as well—so allow your mom and BFFs to help you out both pre- and post-baby, and consider joining a new mama group if you're hoping to reap these benefits. And if you're a single mom, don't fret: Solid non-romantic relationships can also be incredibly helpful.

"If you don't have a partner you can still have lots of social support, lots of love and lots of happy relationships, and all of that's going to be better for the baby," senior author Kristen Kjerulff said in a release for the news. "Love makes a difference."