From antenatal to postnatal depression: associated factors and mitigating influences.
Redshaw M., Henderson J.
INTRODUCTION: Postnatal depression has a serious impact on new mothers and their children and families. Risk factors identified include a history of depression, multiparity, and young age. The study aimed to investigate factors associated with experiencing antenatal depression and developing subsequent postnatal depression. METHODS: The study utilized survey data from 5332 women about their experience and well-being during pregnancy, in labor, and postnatally up to 3 months. Prespecified sociodemographic and clinical variables were tabulated against the incidence of antenatal depression and postnatal depression. Binary logistic regression was used to estimate the effects of the principal underlying variables. RESULTS: Risk factors for antenatal depression were multiparity, black and minority ethnic (BME) status, physical or mental health problems, living in a deprived area, and unplanned pregnancy. Different factors for postnatal depression were evident among women who had experienced antenatal depression: multiparity and BME status were protective, whereas being left alone in labor and experiencing poor postnatal health increased the risk of postnatal depression. CONCLUSION: This study confirms previous research on risk factors for antenatal depression and stresses the importance of continuous support in labor and vigilance in the postnatal period regarding the potential ill effects of continuing postnatal health problems.