Health  Vol.5 No.2 , February 2013
Impact of postnatal maternal depressive symptoms and infant’s sex on mother-infant interaction among Bangladeshi women

Aim: To investigate the impact of postnatal depressive symptoms and infant sex on perceived and observed mother-infant interaction among rural Bangladeshi women. Methods: Fifty women with depressive symptoms and their infants at 2 - 3 months were compared with 50 women without depressed symptoms and their infants, matched on geographic areas, parity and infant sex. The Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale assessed depressive symptoms, the Postpartum Bonding Questionnaire assessed the mother’s perception of bonding with the infant and mother-infant interactions were videotaped and analyzed with the Global Rating Scale. Results: Mothers with depressive symptoms were poorer, were less educated and rated lower infant bonding than mothers without depressive symptoms (p = 0.03), yet objective observation revealed no difference between the two groups regarding maternal interactive behavior (p = 0.57). However, infants, particularly boys (p = 0.002), of mothers with depressive symptoms fretted more in mother-infant interaction than infants of mothers without depressive symptoms (p = 0.009). Conclusion: Although mothers with depressive symptoms did not show less sensitivity in interactive behavior at 2 - 3 months than those without depressive symptoms, our results indicate that infants, particularly boys, of mothers with depressive symptoms may be negatively influenced by depressive symptoms.

Cite this paper: Edhborg, M. , Hogg, B. , Nasreen, H. and Kabir, Z. (2013) Impact of postnatal maternal depressive symptoms and infant’s sex on mother-infant interaction among Bangladeshi women. Health, 5, 237-244. doi: 10.4236/health.2013.52032.

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