Background: Infantile colic is a common problem of early infancy. There is limited data on the relation between postpartum maternal psychological problems and colic.
Aim:: To investigate whether infantile colic is associated with postpartum mood disorders or insecure adult attachment style of the mother.
Methods: Seventy eight mothers and newborns were enrolled in this prospective, longitudinal study. Maternal depressive symptoms were screened with Edinburgh Postpartum Depression Score (EPDS) and maternal anxiety was assessed with State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI). The Adult Attachment Scale was used to determine the attachment style of the mother. Infantile colic was defined according to Wessel criteria.
Results: Infantile colic was present in 17 infants (21.7%); 12.9% of the mothers had an EPDS ⩾13. The mean EPDS of the mothers whose infants had infantile colic (10.2±6.0) was significantly higher than that of the mothers of infants without colic (6.3±4.0). Among infants with infantile colic, 62.5% had mothers who had insecure attachment style, whereas only 31.1% of mothers had insecure attachment when the infant did not have infantile colic.
Conclusion: Postpartum maternal depressive symptoms and insecure attachment style are associated with infantile colic. Screening and early intervention of postpartum depression might promote the health of both the mother and infant.
- infantile colic
- postpartum depression
- attachment style
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Published Online First 1 February 2006
Competing interests: none declared
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