Women who have general anesthesia during C-sections are more likely to experience postpartum depression, study finds

Suicidal thoughts were more common among women who had general anesthesia with a C-section, the Columbia University study found

(CNN)Women who have general anesthesia during C-sections are significantly more likely to experience severe postpartum depression resulting in hospitalization, suicidal thoughts or self-harm, according to a study published last week.

That might be because general anesthesia can delay breastfeeding and skin-to-skin interaction between the mother and infant, and often results in more acute and persistent pain after childbirth, researchers from Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health explained.
"These situations are often coupled with a new mother's dissatisfaction with anesthesia in general, and can lead to negative mental health outcomes," said Jean Guglielminotti, lead author and an assistant professor of anesthesiology at Columbia, in a news release.
The study, published in the journal Anesthesia and Analgesia, is the first to examine how specific types of anesthesia for cesarean delivery affect the risk of postpartum depression.