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Can you help out on some mother and baby research? - by Andy

Posted by Andy on 26 September 2014 at 21:10

A rare request from us... but we were tweeted by someone with a really interesting PhD project regarding mothers with depression and hoped that some of our readers could help out!

Hello! We'll let Rebecca put this in her own words, but we thought that it sounded interesting and something that people may be able to help out with. Post-natal mental illnesses affect many people in many ways, so PLEASE share this with any parent who may be able to help, whether they have been affected by it or just want to help try to help future mothers.
Can you help out on some mother and baby research? - by Andy - rebecca.jpg
"My name is Rebecca Webb and I am a PhD student at City University London. My PhD is investigating the way people with postnatal mental illnesses notice and process babies’ different emotions.

This is a very important research topic as previous studies have found that mothers with depression tend to perceive infant faces as being more negative than mothers without depression [1].

This could potentially have negative consequences for the mother-infant relationship; leading to the mother being less sensitive to her infant’s needs. However, the link between the perception of infant emotion and reduced maternal sensitivity is unclear and my PhD aims to test this.

To test this idea I need photographs of babies’ faces. I am looking for a minimum of three photographs of babies aged 12 months and under. Each photograph should show the same baby displaying a different emotion: one positive (e.g. happy, content), one negative (e.g. sad, angry) and one neutral*.

If you are interested in helping out, here are some guidelines to take the perfect photograph: • Lay your baby on their back on a white sheet on the floor. Make sure the room is well lit. • When taking the photograph try and make sure their head is at the same angle each time (it helps if you stand over them and look straight down at them with your camera/phone/ipad)

Once you have your photographs please send them to

Your baby’s identity will remain completely anonymous. Only their face will be used. These photographs will only be used for research purposes, and has been fully approved by City University London ethics committee.


You can see Rebecca's details here.

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