Revista de Psiquiatria Clínica
Print version ISSN 0101-6083
COSTA, Raquel; PACHECO, Alexandra and FIGUEIREDO, Bárbara. Prevalence and predictors of depressive symptoms after childbirth. Rev. psiquiatr. clín. [online]. 2007, vol.34, n.4, pp. 157-165. ISSN 0101-6083. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0101-60832007000400001.
BACKGROUND: Postnatal depression is a pathology occurring in the first weeks after childbirth with negative consequence not only for mothers, but also for theirs babies and families. OBJECTIVE: To examine the prevalence of postnatal depression and factors that might predict depressive symptoms one week and three months after childbirth. METHODS: 197 pregnant women filled out the Anticipation of Childbirth Questionnaire (QAP) (Costa et al., 2005a) in the 2nd trimester of pregnancy. In the first week after childbirth participants filled out the Experience and Satisfaction with the Childbirth Questionnaire (QESP) (Costa et al., 2005b) and the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) (Augusto et al., 1996). Three months after childbirth, EPDS questionnaire was filled out again. RESULTS: A significant number of women is clinically depressed (EPDS > 13) in the first week and three months after childbirth (12.4% and 13.7%, respectively). Of those with EPDS > 13 in the first week, 25% are still clinically depressed 3 months after childbirth. Physical health condition, childbirth emotional experience and the first contact with the infant predict depressive symptoms one week after childbirth. Mother's depressive symptoms one week after childbirth and childbirth negative experience predict depressive symptoms 3 month after delivery. CONCLUSIONS: We conclude about the importance of the emotional experience of childbirth and of the first contact with the infant, enhancing the need of taking care of mothers' psychological needs.
Keywords : Pregnancy; childbirth; postnatal depression.