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Perinatal maternal depression, antidepressant use and infant sleep outcomes: Exploring cross-lagged associations in a pregnancy cohort study

Galbally, M., Watson, S.J., Teti, D. and Lewis, A.J. (2018) Perinatal maternal depression, antidepressant use and infant sleep outcomes: Exploring cross-lagged associations in a pregnancy cohort study. Journal of Affective Disorder, 238 . pp. 218-225.

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Link to Published Version: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jad.2018.05.025
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Abstract

Background
Both perinatal depression and infant sleep problems are common concerns in many communities, with these problems often coinciding. Findings in this area conflict and much of the research relies on poor measures of sleep and/or depression. Adding to this complexity is the rise in antidepressant treatment for perinatal maternal depression and no previous study has examined the relationship between such exposure and infant sleep.

Methods
This study draws on four waves of data (first and third trimesters, and six and 12 months postpartum) from 264 women in the Mercy Pregnancy and Emotional Wellbeing Study, a prospective pregnancy cohort study of women recruited in first trimester in Melbourne, Australia. Cross-lagged regression models were used to examine reciprocity of longitudinal effects between depressive symptoms and sleep.

Results
Maternal antepartum depression and antidepressant use were not significant predictors of infant sleep problems. Likewise, infant sleep problems were not significant predictors of postpartum maternal depression. However, maternal cognitions about infant sleep, characterised by maternal expectations to immediately attend to their crying child, did demonstrate positive reciprocal effects with infant nocturnal waking between six and 12 months postpartum.

Limitations
Infant sleep outcomes were reported by the mother and the sample were predominantly Anglophone, restricting generalizability of the models to other cultures.

Conclusions
Maternal depression and antidepressant use were not found to be significant factors in infant sleep problems and, likewise, infant sleep problems were not associated with maternal depression. However, postpartum maternal cognitions around six months postpartum regarding limit-setting at night may predict increases in later nocturnal infant signaling.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Psychology and Exercise Science
Publisher: Elsevier
Copyright: © 2018 Published by Elsevier B.V.
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/40996
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