Postpartum depression prevalence and impact on infant health, weight, and sleep in low-income and ethnic minority women and infants

Jenna L. Gress-Smith, Linda Luecken, Kathryn Lemery, Rose Howe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

110 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study aimed to investigate the prevalence of maternal depressive symptoms at 5 and 9 months postpartum in a low-income and predominantly Hispanic sample, and evaluate the impact on infant weight gain, physical health, and sleep at 9 months. Participants included 132 low-income mother-infant pairs who participated in a larger investigation on prenatal care utilization. Mothers were interviewed in person 24-48 h after birth and by phone at 5 and 9 months postpartum. Clinically significant levels of depressive symptoms were reported in 33% of the women at 5 months postpartum, and 38% at 9 months postpartum. Higher depressive symptoms at 5 months were associated with less infant weight gain from 5 to 9 months, p = .002, increased infant physical health concerns, p = .05, and increased infant nighttime awakenings at 9 months, p = .001. Results suggest a striking prevalence of clinically significant depressive symptoms through 9 months postpartum in this very low income, largely ethnic minority sample. Further, the effects of postpartum depression include significant ramifications for infant physical health.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)887-893
Number of pages7
JournalMaternal and child health journal
Volume16
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2012

Keywords

  • Body weight
  • Infant
  • Postpartum depression
  • Sleep

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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