Maternal depressive symptoms are associated with reduced maternal quality of life, decreased ability to function, increased infant hospitalizations, reduced breastfeeding, less involvement of mothers with important developmental behaviors such as talking and playing, and increased maternal smoking and alcohol use. Recent studies have begun to examine the contextual setting of the early postpartum period and identify potentially modifiable determinants of postpartum depressive symptoms. Situational factors such as distress from physical symptoms, infant colic, and lack of social support are triggers for postpartum depressive symptoms while social support and mother's efficacy in managing situational stress buffer depressive reactions. We developed and pilot tested an intervention to reduce depressive symptoms in postpartum mothers by preparing and educating women about specific situational triggers of depressive symptoms, by bolstering personal and social resources, by enhancing self-management skills to buffer postpartum demands, and by increasing access to existing healthcare and community resources available to postpartum mothers. We obtained funding from NCMHD to conduct a randomized controlled study to test this intervention in Black and Hispanic mothers. The proposed study will add to this trial women from all racial/ethnic backgrounds. This is feasible within a two year time because of the large volume of deliveries at Mt. Sinai. Two staff members will be hired to accommodate this increased patient flow.

Public Health Relevance

Postpartum depressive symptoms are a major health problem that affects hundreds of thousands of women annually. We propose to test an intervention to reduce depressive symptoms and prevent elevated levels of depressive symptoms in postpartum mothers by preparing and educating women about specific situational triggers of depressive symptoms, by bolstering personal and social resources, by enhancing self-management skills to buffer postpartum demands, and by increasing access to existing healthcare and community resources available to postpartum mothers.

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Institute
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Type
Research Project (R01)
Project #
5R01MH077683-02
Application #
7835774
Study Section
Social Psychology, Personality and Interpersonal Processes Study Section (SPIP)
Program Officer
Hill, Lauren D
Project Start
2009-05-07
Project End
2012-04-30
Budget Start
2010-05-01
Budget End
2012-04-30
Support Year
2
Fiscal Year
2010
Total Cost
$815,566
Indirect Cost
Name
Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
Department
Miscellaneous
Type
Schools of Medicine
DUNS #
078861598
City
New York
State
NY
Country
United States
Zip Code
10029
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Howell, Elizabeth A; Bodnar-Deren, Susan; Balbierz, Amy et al. (2014) An intervention to extend breastfeeding among black and Latina mothers after delivery. Am J Obstet Gynecol 210:239.e1-5
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Howell, Elizabeth A; Balbierz, Amy; Wang, Jason et al. (2012) Reducing postpartum depressive symptoms among black and Latina mothers: a randomized controlled trial. Obstet Gynecol 119:942-9