Researchers at Tufts University exposed rats and their children to early life stress, resulting in depressed maternal care, aggression, increased restlessness and anxiety-related behavior, and alterations in stress hormones and lactation in the mothers. The second generation, in turn, displayed a similar pattern of upon becoming mothers. “. . . This study provides insight into how social stress affects both human and animal behavior in the areas of maternal care, anxiety and lactation, and provides a wealth of observations,” said the study’s lead author.
Carini, L., Nephew, B.; Effects of early life social stress on endocrinology, maternal behavior, and lactation in rats. Hormones and Behavior. Volume 64, Issue 4, September 2013, Pages 634–641
Of further interest:
Postpartum depression spans generations (Science Codex)