2017 Volume 22 Issue 3 Pages 299-306
Aims : To investigate the changes in the depression status of mothers and fathers from birth until 1 month postpartum, and examine influencing factors.
Methods : A questionnaire survey was conducted involving 376 couples in the early postpartum period and at 1 month postpartum. Questionnaire items included : basic attributes, feelings during pregnancy, satisfaction with birth, the presence or absence of parenting anxiety, and depression status (Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) ). Subjects who scored lower and higher than 9 on the EPDS were divided into “normal” and “suspected postpartum depression” groups, respectively.
Results : Responses were obtained from 307 mothers and 218 fathers. Subjects who were suspected of having postpartum depression in the early postpartum period and at 1 month postpartum accounted for 12.4 and 16.8% of mothers and 3.7 and 6.9% of fathers, respectively. In both mothers and fathers, a moderate positive correlation was observed between the EPDS score measured in the early postpartum period and that measured at 1 month postpartum (mother : r=.524 ; father : r=.480). In the early postpartum period, the higher percentage of mothers with suspected postpartum depression responded that they had “experienced emotional instability” with regard to “feelings during pregnancy”, and a significantly lower percentage of them were “satisfied” with “birth”, compared with mothers in the normal group. At 1 month postpartum, a significantly higher percentage of mothers with suspected postpartum depression had “parenting anxiety” and “financial anxiety” and provided “a combination of breastfeeding and formula”, compared with mothers in the normal group. The percentage of fathers who had “parenting anxiety” at 1 month postpartum was also significantly higher in those with suspected postpartum depression than those in the normal group.
Conclusions : A correlation was observed between depression in the early postpartum period and that at 1 month postpartum in both fathers and mothers, suggesting the need to provide emotional support not only to mothers, but also to fathers who provide important support for mothers, from the early postpartum period.