Sara Kornfield on Postpartum Depression, Mental Health and Mother-Infant Bonding During COVID-19
Postpartum depression is a common condition among people who give birth. Within four weeks of childbirth, 13% of women experience postpartum depression with as many as 19% of women affected three months postpartum.
Mothers who experienced postpartum depression are more likely to experience impaired mother-infant bonding, which has been linked to increased risk for infant maltreatment and socio-emotional behavior and cognitive problems.
Now, acute stress during pregnancy can increase the risk of postpartum depression. The current global COVID-19 pandemic represents a stressor that may have significant repercussions for postpartum depression risk and mother-child relationship development.
Sara Kornfield, assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania, joins Health Affairs Editor-in-Chief Alan Weil on A Health Podyssey to discuss the relationship between COVID-19, postpartum depression, and mother-infant bonding.
Kornfield and coauthors recently published a paper in the October 2021 issue of Health Affairs – which is dedicated to the topic of perinatal mental health – about mental health and resilience among women who were pregnant during the early lockdown phase of the COVID-19 pandemic. Their analysis suggests prenatal depression is an important risk factor that predicts postpartum depression and uniquely contributes to impaired mother-infant bonding.
If you like this interview, order the October Perinatal Mental Health Theme Issue.