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Appetite. 1998 Jun;30(3):297-307.

Infant salt preference and mother's morning sickness.

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1
Department of Psychology, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98105, USA.

Abstract

Evidence for an association between early pregnancy sickness and offspring salt (NaCl) preference has been obtained from studying offspring as young adults. To determine whether effects on NaCl preference are expressed in infancy, the present study examined 16-week-old infants whose mothers reported either little or no vomiting (N = 15) or frequent moderate to severe vomiting (N = 14) during the first 14 weeks of their pregnancy. The infants' oral-motor facial reactions to each solution and their relative intakes of distilled water and 0.1m and 0.2m NaCl were used as measures of preference. Infants of mothers who reported no or mild symptoms had a significantly lower relative intake of salt solutions than infants whose mothers reported moderate to severe symptoms (p < 0.01). The former infants also showed a greater number of aversive facial responses when given 0.2m NaCl (p < 0.05). Taken together, these findings support the hypothesis that maternal dehydration, induced by moderate to severe vomiting during pregnancy, can lead to enhanced salt preference in offspring. They also provide a potential explanation for some of the variability encountered when human infants are tested for their salt preference.

PMID:
9632460
DOI:
10.1006/appe.1997.0144
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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