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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.

Original publication




Journal article


Child Care Health Dev

Publication Date





81 - 86


Adult, Anthropometry, Body Height, Body Weight, Child Development, Child of Impaired Parents, Depression, Postpartum, Developing Countries, Female, Growth, Humans, Infant, Mother-Child Relations, South Africa, Urban Health