London (CNN)Mothers who give birth using donor eggs may react less sensitively to their babies and have a lower confidence in their parenting ability, a study says.
Moms who use egg donors lack confidence in parenting ability, study finds
Scientists at the University of Cambridge found "subtle yet meaningful differences" in the ways egg donor mothers interacted with their children, compared to mothers who had children using their own eggs.
The team interviewed 85 families who'd conceived using egg donation and 65 families who had children through the mother's own eggs.
They also observed mothers playing with their children as they normally would.
During interviews, mothers who used a donor's eggs were more likely to express a lack of confidence in their own parenting ability, the paper says. Changes were not detected in fathers.
The study suggests this may be associated with the older age of mothers who had used donor eggs.
Other differences included how quickly mothers read signals given by babies, such as boredom, and the study also noticed that egg donor infants were "less emotionally responsive and involving of the mother" than babies who were genetically related to their mothers.
"Egg donation mothers were responding slightly less sensitively and they were structuring their play slightly less" than mothers who had used their own eggs as part of in-vitro fertilization, the study's lead author, Susan Imrie, a research associate at the University of Cambridge, told CNN.
But the authors stressed that the overall cohesion and strength of relationships between mother and baby were not tested.
"The main takeaway is that the parents and babies are doing well," said Imrie. "Although we did find these subtle dif