Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Postpartum depression prevalent in under-developed countries, could impact baby health and mortality

Date:
January 8, 2013
Source:
University of Michigan Health System
Summary:
Two-thirds of mothers with sick babies in Ghana at risk of depression, which could put babies at higher health risks such as low birth weight and poor nutrition.

Two-thirds of mothers with sick babies in Ghana at risk of depression, which could put babies at higher health risks such as low birth weight and poor nutrition. Postpartum depression not only affects mothers but it could mean higher health risks for the baby -- especially in low-income countries like Ghana where the condition isn't well-recognized, University of Michigan Health System research shows.

Efforts to reduce child mortality and improve infant growth, health, and nutritional status in less-developed countries must address the mental health of new moms, the study suggests.

Two-thirds of participating mothers of sick, hospitalized babies in Ghana showed high risk for symptoms of clinical depression -- which puts their babies and young children at significant health risks -- according to the new research that appears in the International Journal of Gynecology & Obstetrics.

Postpartum depression in Africa appears to be at least as common and perhaps even more common than in high-income countries, yet very little research has looked at maternal mental health in developing nations.

"Our research provides a mental health snapshot for this population of high-risk moms. We know that if a mother has postpartum depression, both she and her baby face substantial health risks," says lead author Katherine J. Gold, M.D., M.S.W., M.S., assistant professor of family medicine and of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Michigan Medical School.

"Addressing these health concerns may be particularly important for mothers of sick infants who have additional medical problems impacting their health."

In low- and middle-income nations, maternal depression has been linked to poor infant nutritional status, diarrhea, and respiratory illness -- critical factors of child survival. Children with mothers who are depressed are also nearly twice as likely to be underweight and experience growth stunting.

Growing evidence indicates that children of depressed women have higher health risks, ranging from low birth weight, spontaneous abortion, stillbirth, and preterm delivery to reductions in breastfeeding, infant sleep, behavior disorders, and attachment problems.

Lack of perceived social support, poor self-rated health, history of interpersonal violence with a current partner, and home delivery are important risk factors for postpartum depression among mothers of sick infants in Ghana, the study says. These risks are very similar to risk for postpartum depression in the United States.

In places like Ghana, however, there are significant challenges to providing adequate mental health care for new moms, including a lack of trained staff, funding barriers, lack of affordable medications, and social stigma.

"Postpartum depression is well known in the United States, and we recognize that pregnancy and the postpartum period are vulnerable times for maternal mental health," says Gold. "But in low income nations, many people view symptoms of depression as spiritual or personal issues rather than a psychiatric condition which could be treated."

Additional Authors: Kathryn Spangenberg, Family Medicine, Polyclinic Directorate, Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, Kumasi, Ghana; Priscilla Wobil, Department of Child Health, Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, Kumasi, Ghana; Thomas L. Schwenk, M.D., former chair of U-M's Department of Family Medicine, now dean of the University of Nevada School of Medicine and vice president of the University of Nevada, Reno, Division of Health Sciences.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Michigan Health System. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Katherine J. Gold, Kathryn Spangenberg, Priscilla Wobil, Thomas L. Schwenk. Depression and risk factors for depression among mothers of sick infants in Kumasi, Ghana. International Journal of Gynecology & Obstetrics, 2012; DOI: 10.1016/j.ijgo.2012.09.016

Cite This Page:

University of Michigan Health System. "Postpartum depression prevalent in under-developed countries, could impact baby health and mortality." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 January 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130108122447.htm>.
University of Michigan Health System. (2013, January 8). Postpartum depression prevalent in under-developed countries, could impact baby health and mortality. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130108122447.htm
University of Michigan Health System. "Postpartum depression prevalent in under-developed countries, could impact baby health and mortality." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130108122447.htm (accessed September 23, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola Costs Keep Mounting

Ebola Costs Keep Mounting

Reuters - Business Video Online (Sep. 23, 2014) The WHO has warned up to 20,000 people could be infected with Ebola over the next few weeks. As Sonia Legg reports, the implications for the West African countries suffering from the disease are huge. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Cases Could Reach 1.4 Million Within 4 Months

Ebola Cases Could Reach 1.4 Million Within 4 Months

Newsy (Sep. 23, 2014) Health officials warn that without further intervention, the number of Ebola cases in Liberia and Sierra Leone could reach 1.4 million by January. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO: Ebola Cases to Triple in Weeks Without Drastic Action

WHO: Ebola Cases to Triple in Weeks Without Drastic Action

AFP (Sep. 23, 2014) The number of Ebola infections will triple to 20,000 by November, soaring by thousands every week if efforts to stop the outbreak are not stepped up radically, the WHO warned in a study on Tuesday. Duration: 01:01 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
5 Ways Men Can Prevent Most Heart Attacks

5 Ways Men Can Prevent Most Heart Attacks

Newsy (Sep. 23, 2014) No surprise here: A recent study says men can reduce their risk of heart attack by maintaining a healthy lifestyle, which includes daily exercise. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins