Does maternal postpartum depression affect child health and development? A review

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Postpartum depression (PD) is a worldwide issue. Researchers believe the high risk of depression after childbirth persists for the first 6 months. The rate of PD varies from 13 to 20%. This psychiatric disorder has been shown to have a negative impact on the quality of life not only for mothers (difficulty breastfeeding, changing relationships with their husbands, including intimacy) but also for children, initiating immediate effects (infant colic, lack of weight gain, sleep disturbances) and long-term effects on the cognitive and emotional development of the child. Due to a woman's busy schedule, she does not always have the opportunity to visit a doctor. In addition, she may not be aware of her mental health disorders. Often the pediatrician observes that the woman, due to inappropriate behavior, not only fails to cope with maternal responsibilities but may also be a danger to her child. A practical and simple screening technique that allows early detection of PD is the Edinburgh PD Scale. Its use will help women to receive professional care.

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About the authors

Irina N. Zakharova

Russian Medical Academy of Continuous Professional Education; Bashlyaeva Children's City Clinical Hospital

Author for correspondence.
ORCID iD: 0000-0003-4200-4598

D. Sci. (Med.), Prof., Russian Medical Academy of Continuous Professional Education, Bashlyaeva Children's City Clinical Hospital

Russian Federation, Moscow; Moscow

Irina V. Berezhnaya

Russian Medical Academy of Continuous Professional Education; Bashlyaeva Children's City Clinical Hospital

ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2847-6268

Cand. Sci. (Med.), Russian Medical Academy of Continuous Professional Education, Bashlyaeva Children's City Clinical Hospital

Russian Federation, Moscow; Moscow

Narine G. Sugian

Russian Medical Academy of Continuous Professional Education; Khimki Regional Hospital


Cand. Sci. (Med.), Russian Medical Academy of Continuous Professional Education, Khimki Regional Hospital

Russian Federation, Moscow; Khimki

Iana V. Orobinskaia

Russian Medical Academy of Continuous Professional Education; Khimki Regional Hospital


Resident, Russian Medical Academy of Continuous Professional Education, Khimki Regional Hospital

Russian Federation, Moscow; Khimki

Alexandra E. Karimova

Russian Medical Academy of Continuous Professional Education


Resident, Russian Medical Academy of Continuous Professional Education

Russian Federation, Moscow


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Supplementary files

Supplementary Files
1. Fig. 1. Relationship between hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis and PD.

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2. Fig. 2. Odds ratio of PD at 6 months postpartum depending on dietary pattern and behavior.

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3. Fig. 3. Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale.

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