Background: Childbearing years in the women's life are associated with the highest risk of depression. In this study depression in third trimester of pregnancy and after delivery was studied. Depressive symptom score and the proportion of mothers above a threshold were compared to indicate probable depressive disorder at each stage.
Methods: This prospective cohort study was conducted in rural areas of Isfahan province of Iran from September 2007 to January 2008. Subjects were all in their third trimester and followed up from the beginning of the study to 6-8 weeks postpartum. At all, 2156 pregnant women completed the self report questionnaires but 258 were excluded because they were incomplete and final analysis was done with 1898 samples. At the final stage the sample size was decreased to 1291.
Results: The prevalence of depression based on BDI score greater than 20 in last trimester of pregnancy, was 22.8% and rate of depression based on EPD score greater than 12 between 6 to 8 weeks after delivery, was 26.3%. Incidence of Post Partum Depression (PPD) in 6 to 8 weeks after delivery in those who were not clinically depressed during pregnancy was 20.1%. Results showed that history of depression, unplanned pregnancy, being housewife and having 3 or more children had significant relation with ante partum depression.
Conclusions: Two main risk factors for post partum depression are previous history of depression and depression during current pregnancy. It is important to assess these variables during pregnancy in order to facilitate timely identification of women at risk.
Keywords: Depression; Perinatal; Postnatal; Postpartum; Pregnancy; Prenatal.