BACKGROUND: Postpartum depression (PPD) is a common disorder after childbirth. The strongest known predictors are a history of depression and/or a history of PPD. However, for a significant proportion of women, PPD constitutes their first depressive episode. This study aimed to gain further insight into the risk factors for PPD in first time mothers without previous psychiatric contact.
METHODS: Women delivering in Uppsala University Hospital, Sweden, from May 2006 to June 2007, were asked to participate and filled out questionnaires five days and six weeks postpartum, containing inter alia the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS). Univariate logistic regression models, as well as a path analysis, were performed to unveil the complex interplay between the study variables.
RESULTS: Of the 653 participating primiparas, 10.3% and 6.4% reported depressive symptoms (EPDS≥12 points) five days and six weeks postpartum, respectively. In the path analysis, a positive association between anxiety proneness and depressive symptoms at five days and six weeks postpartum was identified. For depressive symptoms six weeks after delivery, additional risk factors were detected, namely depressive symptoms five days postpartum and subjective experience of problems with the baby. Caesarean section and assisted vaginal delivery were associated with fewer depressive symptoms at 6 six weeks postpartum.
CONCLUSIONS: Identification of anxiety proneness, delivery mode and problems with the baby as risk factors for self-reported depressive symptoms postpartum in this group of primiparas can be important in helping health care professionals identify women at increased risk of affective disorders in the perinatal period, and provide a base for early intervention.
2017. Vol. 40, 4-12 p., S0924-9338(16)30088-8