Identifying mothers with postpartum depressions and the use of Neonatal Behavior Assessment Scale to support parent-infant interaction at the neonatal intensive care unit
Nastja Pucer, Jana Kodrič, Albina Gubanc & Darja Paro Panjan
Abstract: Birth of an ill or premature infant and early separation from the mother on behalf of admission to a neonatal intensive care unit was found to be one of the most important predictors of postpartum depression. The goals of the study were to examine the postpartum depression symptoms frequency in the group of mothers of infants in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at Pediatric Clinic of Ljubljana, and to examine the clinical use of the Neonatal Behavioral Assessment Scale (NBAS) to support the mother-infant bonding and to promote parental competencies. 63 mothers of infants in NICU participated in the study about postpartum depression symptoms frequency and 26 infants and their parents participated in the assessment of the neonatal behavior (12 mothers participated in both parts of the study). The results showed that early hospitalization of the newborn increases the risk of postnatal depression in mothers. The percent of mothers who scored 10 or more points on the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) was higher than the incidence of postpartum depression in Slovenia. Results support the need of a postpartum depression screening tool for mothers of infants at NICU and show that the use of NBAS is a potentially useful tool to promote parent-infant interaction.
Keywords: postnatal depression, mother-infant interaction, Neonatal Behavioral Assessment Scale (NBAS), infant hospitalization