Postpartum-specific anxiety as a predictor of infant-feeding outcomes and perceptions of infant-feeding behaviours: new evidence for childbearing specific measures of mood



Fallon, V, Halford, JCG, Bennett, K ORCID: 0000-0003-3164-6894 and Harrold, JA ORCID: 0000-0002-0899-4586
(2018) Postpartum-specific anxiety as a predictor of infant-feeding outcomes and perceptions of infant-feeding behaviours: new evidence for childbearing specific measures of mood. Archives of Women's Mental Health, 21. 181 - 191.

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Abstract

Studies of pregnancy-specific anxiety suggest that it is a distinct construct which predicts perinatal outcomes more effectively than other general measures of anxiety. In response, a novel measure of postpartum-specific anxiety (PSAS) has been developed and validated, but it is not yet clear whether it possesses the same predictive power as its pregnancy-specific counterparts. The aim of this short-term prospective study was to (a) test the predictive validity of the PSAS in the context of one specific perinatal outcome, infant-feeding, and (b) examine whether the PSAS may be more efficacious at predicting infant-feeding outcomes and behaviours than the more commonly used general measures. Eight hundred mothers of infants aged between 0 and 6 months completed the PSAS alongside general measures of anxiety and depression at baseline. A subsample (n = 261) returned to complete a follow-up questionnaire examining infant-feeding outcomes and behaviours two weeks later. Hierarchical regression models revealed that the PSAS was associated with lower odds of breastfeeding exclusively, and breastfeeding in any quantity in the first 6 months postpartum. PSAS scores were also significantly associated with infant-feeding behaviours including a lower perceived enjoyment of food, and greater perceived food responsiveness and satiety responsiveness in the infant. As hypothesised, the PSAS was a stronger predictor of infant-feeding outcomes and behaviours than general anxiety and depression. The findings provide evidence for the predictive validity of the PSAS and call for the use of childbearing specific measures of mood when attempting to predict perinatal outcomes. Replication of these findings across other indices of maternal and infant health is now necessary.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Postpartum anxiety, Postpartum-specific anxiety, Breastfeeding, Infant feeding behaviours, Psychometrics
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 02 Nov 2017 10:37
Last Modified: 17 Sep 2021 02:10
DOI: 10.1007/s00737-017-0775-0
Related URLs:
URI: https://livrepository.liverpool.ac.uk/id/eprint/3010684