Postpartum depression and infant development up to 24 months: A nationwide population-based study

S. Lubotzky-Gete*, A. Ornoy, I. Grotto, R. Calderon-Margalit

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Aims:: Postpartum depression (PPD) is the most common complication women experience after delivery. We aimed to examine the association of maternal PPD with delays in child development, in a population-based study, in the first two years of life. Methods:: A nation-wide population-based historical cohort study in the setting of the Mother and Child Health Clinics in Israel, where infants are routinely evaluated for growth and development. Data were retrieved on 96,623 infants born in 2014–2015 whose mothers had PPD screening. Logistic regressions were used to estimate the associations of PPD with the achievements of developmental milestones, controlling for potential confounders. Results:: PPD was identified in 4,268 mothers (4.7%). PPD was associated with delays in language skills, including the production of voices in dialogue (OR=1.88, 95% CI: 1.41–2.52) and speaking 2–3 words (OR=1.24, 95% CI: 1.13–1.37). PPD was associated with about 1.5 times increased odds of delays in personal-social skills, including reacting to voices (OR=1.43, 95% CI: 1.22–1.67) and pointing to selected objects (OR=1.47 95% CI: 1.10–1.97). Associations were also seen with delays in fine motor and adaptive skills, such as pinching (OR=1.50, 95% CI: 1.20–1.86), and gross motor skills, such as ground crawling (OR=1.36, 95% CI: 1.15–1.60). Conclusions:: In this population-based large cohort study, PPD as estimated in a national screening program, was associated with delays in early child development, which were shown in all assessed domains. Future studies should confirm our results and intervention programs should be developed to effectively minimize these gaps.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)136-143
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Affective Disorders
StatePublished - 15 Apr 2021
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021


  • Child development
  • Development delay
  • Development skills
  • Edinburgh postpartum depression scale (EPDS)
  • Postpartum depression


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