Objective: We investigated associations between maternal postpartum distress covering anxiety, depression and stress and childhood overweight.
Methods: We performed a prospective cohort study, including 21,121 mother-child-dyads from the Danish National Birth Cohort (DNBC). Maternal distress was measured 6 months postpartum by 9 items covering anxiety, depression and stress. Outcome was childhood overweight at 7-years-of age. Multiple logistic regression analyses were performed and information on maternal age, socioeconomic status, pre-pregnancy BMI, gestational weight gain, parity, smoking during pregnancy, paternal BMI, birth weight, gestational age at birth, sex, breastfeeding and finally infant weight at 5 and 12 month were included in the analyses.
Results: We found, that postpartum distress was not associated with childhood risk of overweight, OR 1.00, 95%CI [0.98-1.02]. Neither was anxiety, depression, or stress exposure, separately. There were no significant differences between the genders. Adjustment for potential confounders did not alter the results.
Conclusion: Maternal postpartum distress is apparently not an independent risk factor for childhood overweight at 7-years-of-age. However, we can confirm previous findings of perinatal determinants as high maternal pre-pregnancy BMI, and smoking during pregnancy being risk factors for childhood overweight.