Infectious Disease

Mothers with COVID-19 who have been separated from infants are more likely to experience postpartum depression

Source / information

Source:
Collins A et al. Incidence of postpartum depression in SARS-CoV-2-positive mothers who have been separated from mother and newborn. Presented at: American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists Annual Clinical and Scientific Meeting; April 30 – May 2, 2021 (virtual meeting).

Disclosure:
Collins does not report any relevant financial information. Healio Primary Care was unable to confirm the other authors’ relevant financial statements at the time of publication.

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A New York hospital reported an increased incidence and relative risk of postpartum depression in new mothers with COVID-19 who were separated from their newborns. This was the result of a retrospective cohort study.

The AAP had recommended temporarily separating newborns from mothers with COVID-19 immediately after delivery in the early days of the pandemic, but has since withdrawn that recommendation.

Reference: Collins A, et al. Incidence of postpartum depression in SARS-CoV-2-positive mothers who have been separated from mother and newborn.

Northwell Health’s Staten Island University Hospital was one of the facilities that adopted the AAP’s original guidelines. The hospital has since stopped separating mothers with COVID-19 from their newborns. Ana Collins, MD, from its obstetrics and gynecology department, said Healio Primary Care.

Ana Collins

Collins and colleagues conducted a retrospective cohort study of 224 new mothers delivered at their facility between March 18 and May 12, 2020 – when New York City was the epicenter of the U.S. pandemic.

They found that the incidence of postpartum depression in women who tested positive for COVID-19 and subsequently separated from their newborns was 10.3%, compared with 2.4% of women who tested negative (P = 0 , 0208). The risk of developing postpartum depression in mothers who tested positive for COVID-19 was higher than in mothers who tested negative (RR = 3.7281; 95% CI, 1.0364-13.4102).

She added that it was “difficult” to know if an identical study across the country would produce the same results. “Each hospital system had different work and delivery protocols during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Collins said their findings add another reason for doctors to screen for postpartum depression all those who have recently given birth, “especially those who have undergone maternal neonatal separation”.

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American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology annual clinical and scientific meeting

American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology annual clinical and scientific meeting

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