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.