Emotional distress in mothers of early-preterm infants, late-preterm infants, and full-term infants in Malawi.
BACKGROUND: Mothers of preterm infants, early or late, report more distress than mothers of full-term infants. Malawi has the highest preterm birth rate in the world, but nothing is known about the relation of preterm birth to maternal mental health. PURPOSE: To compare emotional distress among mothers of early-preterm, late-preterm, and full-term infants. METHODS: We recruited 28 mothers of early-preterm, 29 mothers of late-preterm, and 28 mothers of full-term infants. Emotional distress was assessed 24-72 hr following birth. One-way ANOVA and regression analysis were used to compare the three groups. FINDINGS: Mothers of early-preterm infants reported more distress symptoms than mothers of full-term infants, and scores of mothers of late-preterm infants fell between the other two groups. Having a support person present was associated with lower symptoms and caesarean birth was associated with more symptoms. DISCUSSION: Promoting maternal mental health is important following preterm birth and health care providers need to support mothers.
Gondwe, KW; Brandon, D; Yang, Q; Malcom, WF; Small, MJ; Holditch-Davis, D
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