New Study on the Prevention of Postpartum Depression: Intervention With SNOOⓇ May Reduce PPD Rates By 20-50%

Published: May. 24, 2022 at 12:00 PM EDT

A study at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs reports that the SNOO Smart Sleeper shows promise in improving maternal mental health

LOS ANGELES, May 24, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Researchers at The University of Colorado partnered with Happiest Baby, makers of SNOO, to study the link between sleep and rates of postpartum depression (PPD). Findings suggest that the smart bassinet's ability to soothe infant crying and fussiness holds substantial potential to support new parents and significantly reduce rates of postpartum depression.

Happiest Baby
Happiest Baby(PRNewswire)

The study, led by Dr. Michele L. Okun, Associate Professor of Research and Director of the Sleep and Biobehavioral Health Research Laboratory at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, reported on sleep deprivation, anxiety, and depression among 93 new mothers at high risk for PPD because of a prior history of depression. All were provided with a SNOO and monitored over the first six months of the infant's life.

The researchers reported that:

  • Rates of depression were estimated to be 20-50% lower than expected. Compared to the 22% to 41% rates of depression reported among a lower risk sample of new mothers during COVID, just 17.7% of high risk mothers using SNOO screened positive for PPD.

  • The number of new mothers suffering from insomnia was less than half of the expected number. While 18.2% using SNOO met the clinical criteria for insomnia, this was lower than the expected incidence of approximately 46%.

  • Rates of anxiety were lower than expected. The average rate for high-risk mothers using SNOO was 31.8% as compared to 42.8% reported in a study of lower risk women during COVID.

SNOO is a responsive "smart" bassinet. Its womb-like sound and motion calms fussing, improves sleep, and reduces night waking – all factors that raise the risk of PPD. SNOO also prevents accidental rolling to an unsafe position, a common cause of parental anxiety.

A study from Boston's Brigham and Women's Hospital reported that the stress of the pandemic triggered a jump in reported perinatal depression from 15% to an all-time high of 36% of new moms. Further, having a prior depression increases a woman's risk of PPD even more, raising it by at least 2.7 times with future pregnancies. Yet, in this study, mothers with prior depression who used SNOO had less PPD than those at low risk.

"It's well documented that women often have disturbed sleep in the postpartum phase, and that exhaustion is significantly associated with depressive and anxiety symptoms," said Dr. Okun. "As we continue to seek ways to prevent PPD, we're hopeful that devices like SNOO may help new mothers be more rested and protected from mental stress."

"Beyond COVID-19, Americans are facing an epidemic of PPD," adds Dr. Okun. "While we still have work to do when it comes to eradicating PPD, it is promising to observe there are tangible solutions and interventions that can help these women."

In addition to its sleep benefit, SNOO may also reduce stress by acting as a 24/7 assistant or extra set of hands, helping soothe the baby while parents are busy working, cooking, caring for their other kids, or catching up on sleep. The University of Colorado researchers received feedback from many moms that the bed was like having a "babysitter" ready to help when they were busy with other tasks.

"Many of today's families have little family support, so most of the work falls on the shoulders of two parents—and sometimes only one," said SNOO inventor and pediatrician, Dr. Harvey Karp. "Far too many women find the first months of motherhood a hard and lonely experience. I hope this study is a small step towards parents getting the support they need and deserve."

SNOO has supported the mental health of hundreds of thousands of new parents. Happiest Baby has also developed dedicated partnership programs with dozens of employers to provide free SNOO rentals to thousands of their employees. In addition, the company is helping more than 140 hospitals across the country as a robotic nurse's assistant improving infant and maternal care, and helping overburdened health workers. In a survey of 44 hospitals, 204 NICU and postpartum nurses reported that each SNOO reduced their labor an average of 2.2 hours per shift.

SNOO is not cleared or approved for the prevention or treatment of anxiety, insomnia, depression, or postpartum depression (PPD).

For more information:

Happiest Baby is a mission-driven company dedicated to helping parents raise healthy, happy children. The company develops science-based products and content to solve everyday parenting challenges and enhance child well-being. Based in Los Angeles, Happiest Baby Inc. was founded by Dr. Karp with his wife, Nina Montée Karp. They launched SNOO Smart Sleeper in 2016.

The company also makes numerous other infant products (like, Sleepea–the doctor-designed, award-winning, "5-second" swaddle). Dr. Karp's celebrated books/videos, The Happiest Baby on the Block, The Happiest Toddler on the Block and The Happiest Baby Guide to Great Sleep: Birth to 5 have helped millions of parents and have been translated into over twenty languages.

The University of Colorado, Colorado Springs (UCCS) is a public research university in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and one of four campuses that make up the University of Colorado system.

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SOURCE Happiest Baby, Inc.

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