Archives of Women's Mental Health

, Volume 17, Issue 3, pp 213–219

Low maternal serum vitamin D during pregnancy and the risk for postpartum depression symptoms

  • Monique Robinson
  • Andrew J. O. Whitehouse
  • John P. Newnham
  • Shelley Gorman
  • Peter Jacoby
  • Barbara J. Holt
  • Michael Serralha
  • Jessica E. Tearne
  • Pat G. Holt
  • Prue H. Hart
  • Merci M. H. Kusel
Original Article

DOI: 10.1007/s00737-014-0422-y

Cite this article as:
Robinson, M., Whitehouse, A.J.O., Newnham, J.P. et al. Arch Womens Ment Health (2014) 17: 213. doi:10.1007/s00737-014-0422-y

Abstract

Pregnancy is a time of vulnerability for vitamin D insufficiency, and there is an emerging literature associating low levels of 25(OH)-vitamin D with depressive symptoms. However, the link between 25(OH)-vitamin D status in pregnancy and altered risk of postnatal depressive symptoms has not been examined. We hypothesise that low levels of 25(OH)-vitamin D in maternal serum during pregnancy will be associated with a higher incidence of postpartum depressive symptoms. We prospectively collected sera at 18 weeks gestation from 796 pregnant women in Perth (1989–1992) who were enrolled in the Western Australian Pregnancy Cohort (Raine) Study and measured levels of 25(OH)-vitamin D. Women reported postnatal depressive symptoms at 3 days post-delivery. Women in the lowest quartile for 25(OH)-vitamin D status were more likely to report a higher level of postnatal depression symptoms than women who were in the highest quartile for vitamin D, even after accounting for a range of confounding variables including season of birth, body mass index and sociodemographic factors. Low vitamin D during pregnancy is a risk factor for the development of postpartum depression symptoms.

Keywords

Vitamin D Postpartum blues Perinatal mental health Environmental exposure Postnatal depression 

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Monique Robinson
    • 1
  • Andrew J. O. Whitehouse
    • 1
    • 2
  • John P. Newnham
    • 3
  • Shelley Gorman
    • 1
  • Peter Jacoby
    • 1
  • Barbara J. Holt
    • 1
  • Michael Serralha
    • 1
  • Jessica E. Tearne
    • 1
    • 2
  • Pat G. Holt
    • 1
  • Prue H. Hart
    • 1
  • Merci M. H. Kusel
    • 1
  1. 1.Telethon Kids InstituteThe University of Western AustraliaPerthAustralia
  2. 2.School of PsychologyThe University of Western AustraliaPerthAustralia
  3. 3.School of Women’s and Infants’ HealthThe University of Western AustraliaPerthAustralia

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