Newborn behavior and risk of postnatal depression in the mother
Sutter-Dallay, A. L., Murray, L., Glatigny-Dallay, E. and Verdoux, H. (2003) Newborn behavior and risk of postnatal depression in the mother. Infancy, 4 (4). pp. 589-602. ISSN 1525-0008
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The aim of this study was to assess which behavioral characteristics of the newborn infant are associated with an increased risk of postnatal depression (PND) in the mother. A total of 497 mothers from a prospective cohort study were recruited during the last trimester of pregnancy. Infants were evaluated at 3 days with the Brazelton Neonatal Behavioral Scale. Maternal PND was assessed at 6 weeks postpartum with the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale. Behavioral characteristics of the infant predicted the occurrence of PND, independent of other risk factors for PND: The lower the infants' orientation performance, the higher the risk that the mother would present with PND 6 weeks after delivery. As orientation capacities play a key role in the interactional skills developed between mothers and their infants, an infant who is difficult to engage in interaction may contribute to the risk of PND.