Postnatal support from all family members minimizes postpartum depression

January 01, 0001

Postnatal support from all family members minimizes postpartum depression

Inadequate social support is an important determinant of postpartum depression (PPD). In the family centred Chinese culture, family support is likely to be one of the most important components in social support. The aim of this study was to assess the association of prenatal family support and postnatal family support with PPD. A prospective cohort study was conducted between February and September 2007 in Hunan, China. Family support was measured with social support rating scale at 30-32 weeks of gestation (prenatal support) and again at 2 weeks of postpartum visit (postnatal support). PPD was defined as Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) score greater than or equal to 13. A total of 534 pregnant women were included, and among them, 103 (19.3%) scored 13 or more on the EPDS.

PPD was 19.4% in the lowest tertile versus 18.4% in the highest quartile (adjusted odds ratio: 1.04) for prenatal support from all family members, and PPD was 39.8% in the lowest tertile versus 9.6% in the highest tertile (adjusted odds ratio: 4.4) for postnatal support from all family members. Among family members, support from husband had the largest impact on the risk of developing PPD.

The researchers concluded: "Lack of postnatal family support, especially the support from husband, is an important risk factor of PPD."

It is hard to know how externally generalizable this is.

For the full abstract, click here.

Australian and New Zealand Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology 50(4):340-345, August 2010
© 2010 The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists
Prenatal family support, postnatal family support and postpartum depression. Ri-Hua Xie, Jianzhou Yang, Shunping Liao, Haiyan Xie, Mark Walker and Shi Wu Wen.

Category: P. Psychological, W. Pregnancy/Childbirth/Family Planning. Keywords: antenatal, China, family support, postpartum, depression, prospective cohort study, journal watch.
Synopsis edited by Dr Stephen Wilkinson, Melbourne, Australia. Posted on Global Family Doctor 1 October 2010

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