Kathleen Kendall-Tackett, PhD, IBCLC, FAPA
A number of recent studies have raised questions about the way we understand depression in new mothers. For example, what is the role of depression in breastfeeding cessation and does mothers’ prenatal intention to breastfeed make a difference? Researchers have also found that epidurals lower the risk of depression, but the sample sizes are often small. Finally, a concerning trend has emerged regarding the link between depression, PTSD, and preterm birth. Women with depression or PTSD are at increased risk for preterm birth. The World Health Organization has recently identified preterm birth as the single greatest cause of infant mortality worldwide. These findings also have important implications for racial/ethnic disparities in both preterm birth and infant mortality. This presentation will summarize and synthesize these recent studies and present new findings from the Survey of Mothers’ Sleep and Fatigue that address the link between birth interventions and depression in mothers.