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

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

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Child Guidance Clinic, University of Cape Town, South Africa.



To examine the association between maternal post-natal depression and infant growth.


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.


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.


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.


Possible explanations for the non-replication of the South Asian findings are considered.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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