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.