Moms with COVID-19 separated from infants more likely to experience postpartum depression
A New York hospital reported an increased incidence and relative risk for postpartum depression in new mothers with COVID-19 who were separated from their newborns, a retrospective cohort study showed.
Northwell Health’s Staten Island University Hospital was one of the institutions that adopted the AAP’s initial guidelines. The hospital has since stopped separating mothers with COVID-19 from their newborns, Ana Collins, MD, of its department of obstetrics and gynecology, told Healio Primary Care.
Collins and colleagues conducted a retrospective cohort study of 224 new mothers who delivered at their institution between March 18 and May 12, 2020 — when New York City was the epicenter of the pandemic in the United States.
They found that the incidence of postpartum depression was 10.3% among women who tested positive for COVID-19 and were subsequently separated from their newborns, compared with 2.4% of women who tested negative (P = .0208). The risk for developing postpartum depression in mothers who tested positive for COVID-19 was higher compared with those who tested negative (RR = 3.7281; 95% CI, 1.0364-13.4102).
She added that it is “difficult” to know if an identical study done across the country would yield the same results. “Each hospital system had different labor and delivery protocols during the COVID‐19 pandemic.”
Collins said her findings add another reason for physicians to screen all those who recently gave birth for postpartum depression, “especially any patient who underwent maternal‐neonatal separation.”