Maternal Food Insecurity is Positively Associated with Postpartum Mental Disorders in Ontario, Canada

September 17, 2020

In a new study, published in The Journal of Nutrition, PROOF researchers found that maternal food insecurity during pregnancy is associated with postpartum mental disorders and a greater likelihood of infants being treated in an emergency department.

These findings expands our understanding of the relationship between household food insecurity and health and adds to the large literature on the strong connection between food insecurity and poor mental health. Our previous research has shown that food-insecure mothers are less likely to sustain exclusive breastfeeding.

Interventions that reduce food insecurity for expecting and new mothers have the potential to improve maternal mental health and infant health. The only interventions repeatedly shown to reduce food insecurity has been those that improve households’ incomes, like the Canada Child Benefit. However, our research on the CCB has highlighted that this program could do more for food insecurity if greater benefits were targeted to low-income households.

Access the article at:
Tarasuk, V., Gundersen, C., Wang, X., Roth, D. E., & Urquia, M. L. (2020). Maternal food insecurity is positively associated with postpartum mental disorders in Ontario, Canada. Journal of Nutrition, 150(11), 3033–3040.