The object of this study was to evaluate postpartum women for psychiatric symptomatology including cognitive disturbances, anxiety, depression, and anger to better meet their needs for support and involve them in the care of their infants. We interviewed 52 postpartum mothers at the Bronx Lebanon Hospital Center within 5 days of delivery and determined the presence of psychiatric symptoms using the 29-item Psychiatric Symptom Index. Despite the fact that adult mothers were happier they were pregnant (71.4% versus 29.4%; p = 0.010) and less likely to be worried about their baby's health (25.7% versus 52.9%; p = 0.003), adult mothers demonstrated higher depressive symptomatology (p = 0.009), higher amounts of anger (p = 0.004), and greater overall psychiatric symptomatology (p = 0.005) than adolescent mothers. Mothers whose infants were in the neonatal intensive care unit did not report significantly higher psychiatric symptomatology than mothers whose infants were healthy. Physicians need to be aware of the high levels of depression and anger present among postpartum women so appropriate support can be given.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Obstetrics and Gynecology