Aims: The aims of this study were to evaluate the associations between postpartum depressive symptoms and maternal perceptions of infant patterns with 1-year follow-up examinations, and to assess the impacts of treatment on these perceptions.
Methods: One hundred three mother-infant pairs were evaluated. Data on maternal reports of infant feeding, sleeping and temperament patterns were collected at each well-child visit. The Edinburgh Postpartum Depression Scale was used to assess depressive symptoms. A psychiatrist interviewed the mothers with depressive symptoms, and psychiatric treatments were administered accordingly. The associations between depressive symptoms and maternal perceptions at each visit were analyzed by taking into account the entire follow-up period.
Results: Thirty-five mothers (34%) scored within the clinical range of the EPDS during the follow-up period. Mothers with elevated depressive symptoms were more inclined to report infant cry-fuss, sleeping and temperamental problems through the follow-up. Such complains on infant cry-fuss and temperament problems and maternal sleeping problems improved after treatment in compliant mothers. The dropout rate was high (58.3%) in noncompliant mothers.
Conclusion: Postpartum depressive symptoms may lead to negative maternal perceptions of infant patterns. Earlier management of these disorders and maternal compliance to psychiatric suggestions may provide a better care for the mother-infant pairs.