Relationship between Child Development and Maternal Postpartum Depression: A Cross-Sectional Study

Document Type : Original Article


1 School of Medicine, Isfahan University of Medical sciences, Isfahan, Iran

2 Department of Midwifery and Reproductive Health, Nursing and Midwifery Care Research Center, Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran.

3 Department of Midwifery and Reproductive Health, Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran

4 Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran


Background: The first two years of life is of paramount importance for child development, and the acquired skills during this period will be the basis for success in the future. Postpartum depression as one of the common mental health issues in mothers may be associated with child development.
Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted on 366 women (aged 18-45 years) referred to health care centers. Demographic characteristics form, Edinburg postnatal depression scale, as well as ages and stages questionnaires, were used for data collection. The collected data were analyzed in SPSS software (version 18) at a significant level of less than 0.05.
Results: The mean maternal depression score in an abnormal state was higher, compared to that in the normal state, requiring the follow-up situations in communication, fine motor, and personal-social domains. Moreover, the ANOVA test demonstrated a statistically significant difference between the maternal depression score in various situations of mentioned domains (P=0.03, P=0.016, and P=0.018). There was no statistically significant difference between maternal depression scores in various situations of gross motor and problem-solving domains (P=0.503 and P=0.145).  Furthermore, Pearson test results pointed to a significant relationship between depression scores and the state of development in communication, fine motor, and personal-social domains.
Conclusion: As evidenced by the obtained results, health care providers should consider postpartum depression in order to maintain and improve children’s development. The provision of adequate information regarding child development can improve the quality of care for the children whose mothers suffer from postpartum depression.


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