Mothers’ postpartum psychological adjustment and infantile colic

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Abstract

Background:

Infantile colic is a common problem of early infancy. There is limited data on the relation between postpartum maternal psychological problems and colic.

Background:

Aim: To investigate whether infantile colic is associated with postpartum mood disorders or insecure adult attachment style of the mother.

Methods:

Seventy eight mothers and newborns were enrolled in this prospective, longitudinal study. Maternal depressive symptoms were screened with Edinburgh Postpartum Depression Score (EPDS) and maternal anxiety was assessed with State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI). The Adult Attachment Scale was used to determine the attachment style of the mother. Infantile colic was defined according to Wessel criteria.

Results:

Infantile colic was present in 17 infants (21.7%); 12.9% of the mothers had an EPDS ≥13. The mean EPDS of the mothers whose infants had infantile colic (10.2±6.0) was significantly higher than that of the mothers of infants without colic (6.3±4.0). Among infants with infantile colic, 62.5% had mothers who had insecure attachment style, whereas only 31.1% of mothers had insecure attachment when the infant did not have infantile colic.

Conclusion:

Postpartum maternal depressive symptoms and insecure attachment style are associated with infantile colic. Screening and early intervention of postpartum depression might promote the health of both the mother and infant.

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