University of York | January 2019 | Emergency caesareans put new mothers at higher risk of developing postnatal depression, according to new research
Researchers at the University of York have found that women who have an unplanned caesarean are at a higher risk of experiencing postnatal depression. The study found new evidence that emergency C-sections put new mothers at greater risk of experiencing mental health problems after giving birth.
Out of the 165,000 births in England each year, there are currently around 25,000 unplanned caesarean deliveries.
Author of the study, Dr Valentina Tonei from the Department of Economics at the University of York, said: “The findings of this study are striking because they provide evidence of a causal relationship between emergency C-sections and postnatal depression.
“This has important implications for public health policy, with new mothers who give birth this way in need of increased support.
Although earlier studies have frequently looked at small samples at individual hospitals; this research used a representative sample (n=5000) first-time mothers from the UK Millennium Cohort Study.
This research isolated the effects of emergency C-section on mothers’ psychological well-being in the nine months following delivery by taking other factors, such as differences in the resource and staffing levels in hospitals and the mental health history of the mothers, into account.
In selecting only first-time mothers, the research team eliminated the effects of previous birthing experiences (Source: University of York).
Read the press release in full University of York Emergency caesareans put new mothers at higher risk of developing postnatal depression, according to new research
See also: Science Daily Emergency caesareans put new mothers at higher risk of developing postnatal depression
This study has now been published in the Journal of Health Economics