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Maternal supplementation with small-quantity lipid-based nutrient supplements during pregnancy and lactation does not reduce depressive symptoms at 6 months postpartum in Ghanaian women: a randomized controlled trial.


We examined the impact on depression at 6 months postpartum of maternal supplementation with small-quantity lipid-based nutrient supplement (SQ-LNS) compared to supplementation with iron and folic acid (IFA) or multiple micronutrients (MMN). In this partially double-blinded randomized controlled trial, pregnant women ≤20 weeks gestation (n = 1320) were recruited from antenatal clinics and randomly assigned to receive either (1) SQ-LNS during pregnancy and for 6 months postpartum, or (2) IFA during pregnancy only, or (3) MMN during pregnancy and for 6 months postpartum. Maternal depressive symptoms were measured at 6 months postpartum using the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS). Women who scored 12 or more on the EPDS were considered to show symptoms of depression. One thousand one hundred fifty-one women were included in this analysis (LNS = 382, IFA = 387 and MMN = 382). Characteristics of the three groups were similar at baseline, and there were no significant differences between women who were included in the analysis (n = 1151) and those who were not (n = 169). At 6 months postpartum, 13% of the women overall showed symptoms of depression, and this did not differ by group (LNS = 13.1%, IFA = 11.2% and MMN = 14.7%. P = 0.36). The median (25, 75 percentile) EPDS score did not differ by group (LNS 4.0 (1.0, 8.0), IFA 4.0 (1.0, 8.0), MMN 5.0 (2.0, 9.0), P transformed = 0.13). Adjustment for covariates did not alter these findings. Maternal supplementation with SQ-LNS compared to MMN or IFA did not affect postnatal depressive symptoms in this sample of Ghanaian women.

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