Purpose Although the negative consequences of maternal depression on infants has been documented in several Western societies, similar studies have not been conducted in Middle-Eastern countries where cultural norms and traditions may differ. The main objective of this study was to determine the risk factors for postpartum depression (PPD) and its relationship to mother −infant bonding in a Lebanese population.
Methods One hundred and fifty participants were administered the Edinburgh Postpartum Depression Scale (EPDS), and the social support scale at 2–3 days postpartum. At 10–12 weeks mother–infant bonding using the Postpartum Bonding Questionnaire (PBQ) and depression using the Beck Inventory (BDI-II) were assessed during a telephone interview.
Results The prevalence of depression was 19% with an average score of 10.9 ± 6.02 on the EPDS. At 10–12 weeks 2.7% of the whole sample was depressed with an average score of 18.60 ± 16.87 on the BDI-II. Risk factors of PPD on the EPDS were; history of alcohol use, complications during pregnancy, not a good marital relationship, baby admitted to an intensive care unit, history of depression and low social support. Risk factors for impaired bonding were age, history of depression, BDI-II scores above 20 and low social support. The multiple regression analysis found that impaired bonding was associated with older age, history of depression and low social support, which explained 39% of the variance, F = 7.12, p = 0.02.
Conclusion The prevalence of PPD was higher than previously reported at day 2–3 post-delivery, but lower at 10–12 weeks postpartum. Impaired mother- infant bonding was associated older mothers, history of depression, low social support and BDI-II scores above 20 which should alert practitioner to assessing these factors in post-partum mothers.
The effect of maternal depression on infants has been documented for decades in several studies mostly in the Western world (Beeghly et al., 2017; Closa-Monasterolo et al., 2017; Dubber, Reck, Müller, & Gawlik, 2015). Depressed mothers have a difficult time adjusting to motherhood, are less sensitive to their infant cues, resulting in less than optimal attachment to their infants (Miklush & Connelly, 2013; Tietz, Zietlow, & Reck, 2014). Even mild depressive symptoms in the postpartum period can influence mother-infant attachment and child development (Behrendt et al., 2016; Deave, Heron, Evans, & Emond, 2008; Nieto, Lara, & Navarrete, 2017). A negative mother infant relationship in the early years of the infant’s life has long lasting negative consequences emotionally, socially and cognitively (Abdollahi, Etemadinezhad, & Lye, 2016; Choi, Sikkema, Vythilingum, Geerts, & Watt, 2017; Kerstis et al., 2016).