Antenatal and postpartum depression: effects on infant and young child health and feeding practices
Keywords: antenatal depression, feeding practices, infant height, infant weight, maternal depression, postpartum depression
AbstractGlobally, anxiety and depression is the third leading cause of disease burden for women 14 to 44 years of age. The World Health Organisation reports that 15 to 57% of women in developing countries experience symptoms of depression. Maternal mental illness has a negative impact on infant and young child (IYC) growth, development and care, having serious health implications in terms of physical, cognitive and emotional well-being during crucial stages of the life span, such as the first 1000 days and early childhood. Various studies conducted in both developed and developing countries, have shown that maternal depression is associated with negative health outcomes such as: low birth weight, developmental delay, incomplete immunisation schedules, acute or chronic diarrhoea, somatic symptoms, disrupted sleep patterns and child abuse, as well as psychiatric and neuro-behavioural disorders. In addition, maternal depression impairs IYC care practices related to breastfeeding, health care, safety and development. It also contributes to inadequate nutrition during pregnancy as well as that of offspring during infancy and childhood, resulting in suboptimal brain development and inadequate growth. Infants with depressed mothers are not only vulnerable to becoming underweight, but also being stunted. (Full text available online at www.medpharm.tandfonline.com/ojcn) South Afr J Clin Nutr 2018; DOI: 10.1080/16070658.2017.1333753
Material submitted for publication in the South African Journal of Clinical Nutrition (SAJCN) is accepted provided it has not been published elsewhere. Copyright forms will be sent with acknowledgement of receipt and the SAJCN reserves copyright of the material published.
The SAJCN does not hold itself responsible for statements made by the authors.