Influence of body posture on the association between postpartum depression and pain

Influência do tipo postural na associação entre depressão pós-parto e dor

Rita di Cássia de Oliveira Angelo Denila Coelho da Silva Carla Fonseca Zambaldi Amaury Cantilino Everton Botelho Sougey About the authors


To determine the association between postpartum depression (PPD), intensification of back pain and exacerbation of changes in postural alignment intrinsic to puerperium.


Eighty women at 2 to 30 weeks postpartum were included in the study according to the following criteria: literate mothers, gestation of 34 to 42 weeks, and healthy live-born infants. All mothers agreed to participate in the study. Depressive symptoms were measured using the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS). Pain was assessed using a visual analogue scale (VAS) and the Nordic Musculoskeletal Questionnaire (NMQ), and posture, using real time naturalistic observation.


There was a statistically significant association between PPD and pain intensity (p = 0.002). The upper back was the most frequent pain site among depressed women, both before (p = 0.04) and after delivery (p = 0.01). There were no associations between PPD and type of posture (p = 0.328). However, pain intensity was greater among depressed women in the swayback group (p < 0.001).


The intensification of puerperal pain is closely associated with PPD. Our results suggest that back pain may be both a risk factor and a comorbidity of PPD among puerperal women and that pain and type of posture are interdependent.

Depression; pain; posture; postpartum

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