Post-partum depression and infant growth in a South African peri-urban settlement

Child Care Health Dev. 2006 Jan;32(1):81-6. 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.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • 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 / statistics & numerical data