Archives of Women's Mental Health

, Volume 15, Issue 3, pp 211–216 | Cite as

Postnatal depression, maternal bonding failure, and negative attitudes towards pregnancy: a longitudinal study of pregnant women in Japan

  • Masayo KokubuEmail author
  • Tadaharu Okano
  • Takashi Sugiyama
Original Article


Postnatal depression and bonding failure after childbirth are major mental health issues. We investigated 99 pregnant women on three occasions (late in pregnancy and 5 days and 1 month postnatally). Anxiety during pregnancy predicted postnatal depression and bonding failure, whereas negative attitudes towards pregnancy predicted bonding failure. The effect of negative attitudes towards pregnancy on postnatal depression was possibly mediated by bonding failure. Postnatal depression and bonding failure are correlated with different risk factors and run rather independently over the course of the puerperium. Postnatal depression may be predicted by bonding failure.


Postnatal depression Bonding failure Negative attitudes towards pregnancy Structural equation modeling 



This study was partly supported by a Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (C) of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan (14570917). We thank Dr. H. Nishiguchi and his staff for their assistance (Mie Prefectural Government); and Dr. Y. Atsuta (Atsuta Pediatrics Clinic), Dr. M. Kihira (Saint Rose Obstetrics and Gynecology Clinic), Dr. N. Kihira (Tsu Nishi Obstetrics and Gynecology Clinic), Dr. H. Nomura (Nomura Obstetrics and Gynecology Clinic), and Dr. S. Yanase (Yanase Clinic Obstetrics and Gynecology) for their support. We also thank all the women who participated in the study.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest related to the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Masayo Kokubu
    • 1
    Email author
  • Tadaharu Okano
    • 1
    • 2
  • Takashi Sugiyama
    • 3
  1. 1.Mie University Graduate School of MedicineTsuJapan
  2. 2.Centre for Mental and Physical Health, Mie UniversityMie University School of MedicineTsuJapan
  3. 3.Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Mie UniversityMie University School of MedicineTsuJapan

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