Infant and young child mortality remains high in the developing world,
and examining potential causative factors such as maternal psychological health is important. Maternal mental disorder is linked to poor infant growth (1,2) and infant illness (3) . Postnatal depression and anxiety symptoms have also been shown to have a detrimental influence on infant feeding practices,
particularly the decision to disrupt exclusive breastfeeding before 6 months of age (4,5,6) . In Malawi,
Sampling and data collection Recruitment of mothers with 4 and 5 month old infants was conducted at the weekly Under 5 Clinics in Gowa,
as well as the monthly outreach clinics in four outlying villages under the Gowa Mission catchment area. Semi-structured interviews conducted between October 2016 to June 2017 ( n =175). Dry season defined as April through November ( n =86),and rainy season as December through March ( n =87). All surveys and interviews were completed in-person at the home of...
34/175 women (19.43%) identified as high-risk for depression Depression scores were not significantly impacted by household wealth,
maternal education level,
or number of living children in the household Food insecurity scores were significantly impacted by household wealth (p=0.0399) and maternal education level (p=0.0037),
but not household size,
or number of living children in the household Prevalence of depression and food insecurity did not...
Astrong association exists between food insecurity and depressive symptoms in mothers with 4 and 5 month old infants,
and this was present across seasons. Mothers with young infants are often susceptible to anxiety and increased emotions during the postpartum period. This stress,
in combination with the psychological stress associated with food insecurity,
could be a major contributory factor for the increased depressive symptoms seen in this population of mothers (7) . It is possible that...
Rochat TJ et al. (2012) Postnatal depression and its effects on child development: a review of evidence from low- and middle-income countries. British Medical Journal 101 ,
57-79. Ndokera R & MacArthur C (2010) The relationship between maternal depression and adverse infant health outcomes in Zambia: a cross-sectional feasibility study. Child: care,
health and development 37 (1),
74-81. Dennis C & McQueen K (2007) Does maternal postpartum depressive symptomatology...
Short Bio (max. 150 words or less)
Tiffany Mark (Tiffany_Mark@urmc.rochester.edu) and Ryan Latulipe (Ryan_Latulipe@urmc.rochester.edu) are fourth year medical students at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry. Martina Anto-Ocrah is an Epidemiology PhD student at the University of Rochester. Dr.
David Adler is an Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine and Public Health Sciences at the University of Rochester. Dr.
Joseph Lanning is an Instructor of Anthropology at the University of Georgia.