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Revista Brasileira de Ginecologia e Obstetrícia

Print version ISSN 0100-7203


ZACONETA, Alberto Moreno et al. Depression with postpartum onset: a prospective cohort study in women undergoing elective cesarean section in Brasilia, Brazil. Rev. Bras. Ginecol. Obstet. [online]. 2013, vol.35, n.3, pp.130-135. ISSN 0100-7203.

PURPOSE: It was to determine the prevalence of depressive symptoms in a sample of puerperal women from Brasília, Brazil, distinguishing cases with onset after delivery from those already present during pregnancy. METHODS: A prospective cohort study with convenience sampling of patients submitted to elective cesarean section at two private hospitals. As an instrument for assessing depressive symptoms, the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale with cutoff >13 was applied shortly before delivery and four to eight weeks after childbirth. RESULTS: Among the 107 women who completed the study, 11 (10.3%) had significant depressive symptoms during pregnancy and 12 (11.2%) during the postpartum period. Among the 12 patients with postpartum symptoms, 6 had symptoms during pregnancy, so that 5.6% of the sample had postpartum onset of depression. The higher overall frequency of depression was significantly among single women than among married women (p=0.04), a fact mainly due to a higher frequency of single women experiencing persistent depressive symptoms both before and after delivery (p=0.002). The risk of depression was not influenced by age, parity or educational level. CONCLUSION: Women with depression identified during the postpartum period comprise a heterogeneous group, in which symptoms may have started before pregnancy, during pregnancy or after childbirth. In this sample, half of the postpartum depression cases already presented symptoms during late pregnancy. Since depression can arise before and after childbirth, it may have different etiologies and, therefore, a different response to treatment, a possibility that should be considered by clinicians and researchers.

Keywords : Depression, postpartum; Puerperal disorders; Postnatal care; Perinatal care; Pregnancy complications.

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