Archives of Women's Mental Health

, Volume 13, Issue 6, pp 505–513 | Cite as

The experience of labor, maternal perception of the infant, and the mother’s postpartum mood in a low-risk community cohort

  • Omri Weisman
  • Adi Granat
  • Eva Gilboa-Schechtman
  • Magi Singer
  • Ilanit Gordon
  • Hila Azulay
  • Jacob Kuint
  • Ruth FeldmanEmail author
Original Article


Postpartum negative mood interferes with maternal–infant bonding and carries long-term negative consequences for infant growth. We examined the effects of birth-related risks on mother’s postpartum anxiety and depression. A community cohort of 1,844 low-risk women who delivered a singleton term baby completed measures assessing delivery, emotions during labor, attitudes toward pregnancy and infant, mood regulation, and postpartum anxiety and depression. Under conditions of low risk, 20.5% of parturient women reported high levels of depressive symptoms. Following Cesarean Section Delivery (CSD), 23% reported high depressive symptoms, compared to 19% following Vaginal Delivery (VGD), and 21% after Assisted Vaginal Delivery (AVGD). State anxiety was highest in CSD and lowest in VGD. Mothers undergoing CSD experienced labor as most negative, reported highest somatic symptoms during the last trimester, and were least efficient in regulating negative mood. Postpartum depression was independently associated with higher maternal age, CSD, labor pain, lower negative and higher positive emotions during labor, inefficient mood regulation, somatic symptoms, and more negative and less positive perception of fetus during last trimester. Results demonstrate that elevated depressive symptoms are prevalent in the postpartum even under optimal socioeconomic and health conditions and increase following CSD. Interventions to increase positive infant-related perceptions and emotions may be especially important for promoting bond formation following CSD.


Mother–infant bonding Cesarean section delivery Assisted delivery Postpartum depression Postpartum anxiety Maternal perceptions 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Omri Weisman
    • 1
    • 2
  • Adi Granat
    • 1
    • 2
  • Eva Gilboa-Schechtman
    • 1
    • 2
  • Magi Singer
    • 2
  • Ilanit Gordon
    • 1
    • 2
  • Hila Azulay
    • 1
    • 2
  • Jacob Kuint
    • 3
    • 4
  • Ruth Feldman
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyBar-Ilan UniversityRamat-GanIsrael
  2. 2.The Gonda Multidisciplinary Brain Research CenterBar-Ilan UniversityRamat-GanIsrael
  3. 3.Sheba Medical CenterTel-AvivIsrael
  4. 4.School of MedicineTel-Aviv UniversityTel-AvivIsrael

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