Nina Bruinhof

Junior researcher

About me

HomeDevelopmental PsychobiologyNina Bruinhof

My main research interests is how prenatal and early postnatal influences affect the development of infants. I mostly focus on the mental wellbeing of pregnant mothers (including feelings of stress, anxiety and depression) and underlying biological mechanisms, such as hormonal outcomes. Hereby I am interested how mother’s wellbeing during pregnancy relates to behavioral outcomes, such as early caregiving behavior and mother-baby interactions. Moreover, I am interested in breastmilk and how the mother’s mental wellbeing influences hormones in the mother’s milk.

Examples of questions I try to answer are:

  • How does maternal cortisol during pregnancy affect the later behavioral development of the baby?
  • Does the composition of breastmilk play a role in the later health and cognition of children?

Currently I am mostly working on the SMILEY-project (Study of Microbiota and Lifestyle in the Early Years). In this project I help with the 12 week baby visits in the lab. From December 2021 onwards I will also coordinate these early SMILEY baby visits. Furthermore, I work on a results from the COPE-study (COVID-19 and Perinatal Experiences) on the effects of prenatal stress during the COVID-19 outbreak.