Dr Frances Carter from the department of psychological medicine at Otago University recentlly reported in her research that any link between caesarean section and postpartum depression is “unconvincing”.
Concerns dating back to the 1970s that having a C-section put women at risk of developing PPD, led researchers to explore this further.
Dr Carter said the impact of caesarean section on mood might depend on the context in which the caesarean section occurred, including cultural norms, preparedness and the social support available to women.
She said it was important to note that the review looked specifically at caesarean section and post-natal depression. It did not examine the link between caesarean section and anxiety disorders, such as post-traumatic stress disorder.
The findings did not rule out the possibility that for individual women a caesarean section could be a factor in the development of post-natal depression.