Post-partum depression and infant growth in a South African peri-urban settlement.
Tomlinson M., Cooper PJ., Stein A., Swartz L., Molteno C.
AIM: To examine the association between maternal post-natal depression and infant growth. BACKGROUND: Infant growth has recently been shown, in two studies from South Asia, to be adversely affected by maternal depression in the early post-partum period. It is uncertain whether a similar association obtains in developing countries outside Asia. METHOD: A sample of 147 mother-infant dyads was recruited from a peri-urban settlement outside Cape Town and seen at 2 and 18 months post partum. RESULTS: No clear effect of post-partum depression on infant growth was found. Although maternal depression at 2 months was found to be associated with lower infant weight at 18 months, when birthweight was considered this effect disappeared. CONCLUSIONS: Possible explanations for the non-replication of the South Asian findings are considered.