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Postpartum depression and perceived social support during pregnancy

OBJECTIVE: To assess the impact of low perceived social support during pregnancy as a risk factor for depression within 30 to 60 days postpartum. METHOD: This cohort study included pregnant women treated at public hospitals (Brazilian Unified Health System) in the city of Pelotas, state of Rio Grande do Sul, southern Brazil. Postpartum depression was assessed using the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS). Women with scores ≥ 13 points were considered to be depressed. RESULTS: Of the total of 1,019 women assessed, 168 (16.5%) presented postpartum depression. Women who did not receive support from their partners (p = 0.000), their families (p = 0.000), and friends (p = 0.000) were at higher risk for developing postpartum depression. CONCLUSION: Our findings suggest that perceived social support during pregnancy may be a protective factor against postpartum depression.

Social support; postpartum depression; pregnancy

Sociedade de Psiquiatria do Rio Grande do Sul Av. Ipiranga, 5311/202, 90610-001 Porto Alegre RS Brasil, Tel./Fax: +55 51 3024-4846 - Porto Alegre - RS - Brazil