A new study shows that having general anesthesia in a cesarean delivery is linked with significantly increased odds of severe postpartum depression requiring hospitalization, thoughts of suicide or self-inflicted injury. The findings from research conducted at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health and Columbia University Irving Medical Center are published online in Anesthesia and Analgesia , the journal of the International Anesthesia Research Society.
The study is the first to examine the effect of the mode of anesthesia for cesarean delivery on the risk of postpartum depression (PPD) and the possible protective effect of having regional anesthesia for cesarean delivery on maternal mental health compared with general anesthesia.
Postpartum depression in the U.S. has increased seven-fold in the past 15 years, and it now affects up to 1 in 7 women, yielding about 550,000 annual new cases.
General anesthesia for cesarean delivery may increase the risk of postpartum depression because it delays the initiation of mother to infant skin-to-skin interaction and breastfeeding, and often results in more acute and persistent postpartum pain. These situations are often coupled with a new mother's dissatisfaction with anesthesia in general, and can lead to negative mental health outcomes." Jean Guglielminotti, MD, PhD, in the Department of Anesthesiology and the Department of Epidemiology at Columbia Mailman School, and first author Related Stories
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