Article

Maternal and Child Health Journal

, Volume 17, Issue 8, pp 1468-1477

Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.

A Comparison Between Late Preterm and Term Infants on Breastfeeding and Maternal Mental Health

  • Sheila W. McDonaldAffiliated withDepartment of Paediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, University of Calgary Email author 
  • , Karen M. BenziesAffiliated withFaculty of Nursing, University of Calgary
  • , Jenna E. GallantAffiliated withFaculty of Nursing, University of Calgary
  • , Deborah A. McNeilAffiliated withDepartment of Population and Public Health, Alberta Health Services
  • , Siobhan M. DolanAffiliated withDepartment of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Women’s Health, Albert Einstein College of Medicine/Montefiore Medical Center
  • , Suzanne C. ToughAffiliated withDepartment of Paediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, University of CalgaryDepartment of Community Health Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Calgary

Abstract

The objective of this study was to compare breastfeeding, postpartum mental health, and health service utilization between a group of late preterm (LP) maternal infant pairs and term counterparts. Data was drawn from a prospective community-based cohort in Calgary, Alberta. Bivariate and multivariable analyses were performed. LP infants were more likely to have had a longer median length of stay after birth (P < 0.001) and a higher re-hospitalization rate at 4-months (P < 0.001) compared to term infants. Mothers of LP infants were more likely to report immediate breastfeeding difficulties (P < 0.001) and earlier cessation of breastfeeding at 4-months postpartum (P = 0.008). Multivariable analyses revealed that LP status was an independent risk factor for excessive symptoms of maternal anxiety (OR = 2.07; 95 % CI = 1.08,3.98), but not for depression, stress, or low parenting morale. LP infants and their families are a vulnerable population with unique developmental trajectories. Further longitudinal research is required.

Keywords

Breastfeeding Late preterm Maternal mental health Postpartum