Prenatal social support, postnatal social support, and postpartum depression

Ann Epidemiol. 2009 Sep;19(9):637-43. doi: 10.1016/j.annepidem.2009.03.008. Epub 2009 May 13.


Purpose: To assess the association of antenatal and postnatal social support with postpartum depression (PPD).

Methods: We carried out a prospective cohort study of 534 pregnant women between February and September 2007 in Hunan, China. The association between prenatal and postnatal social support with PPD was examined.

Results: A total of 103 (19.29%) women had PPD. Women with low prenatal and postnatal social support had higher rates of PPD. For prenatal support, PPD was 28.20% in the lowest quartile versus 9.90% in the highest quartile (adjusted odds ratio [OR]: 3.38, 95% confidence interval [CI]=1.64,6.98). For postnatal support, PPD was 44.10% in the lowest quartile versus 5.40% in the highest quartile (adjusted OR: 9.64, 95% CI=4.09, 22.69).

Conclusions: Lower or lack of social support is a risk factor of PPD. The association between postnatal social support and PPD is much stronger than that of prenatal social support.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • China / epidemiology
  • Depression, Postpartum / diagnosis
  • Depression, Postpartum / epidemiology*
  • Depression, Postpartum / prevention & control
  • Depression, Postpartum / psychology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Maternal Age
  • Middle Aged
  • Postnatal Care
  • Pregnancy / psychology*
  • Prenatal Care
  • Prospective Studies
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Regression Analysis
  • Risk Factors
  • Social Support*
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Young Adult