Post-partum depression and infant growth in a South African peri-urban settlement
Tomlinson, M., Cooper, P.J., Stein, A., Swartz, L. and Molteno, C. (2006) Post-partum depression and infant growth in a South African peri-urban settlement. Child: Care, Health and Development, 32 (1). pp. 81-86. ISSN 0305-1862
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2214.2006.00598.x
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.