Research has demonstrated that women develop postpartum PTSD. Prevalence of postpartum PTSD has ranged from 1% to 30%, and many risk factors have been identified as predictors of postpartum PTSD. While qualitative reviews have identified patterns of risk, the lack of quantitative reviews prevents the field from identifying specific risk factors and making a single estimate of the prevalence of postpartum PTSD. The current meta-analysis investigated prevalence and risk factors of postpartum PTSD, both due to childbirth and other events, among community and targeted samples. Prevalence of postpartum PTSD in community samples was estimated to be 3.1% and in at-risk samples at 15.7%. Important risk factors in community samples included current depression, labor experiences such as interactions with medical staff, as well as a history of psychopathology. In at-risk samples, impactful risk factors included current depression and infant complications. Further research should investigate how attitudes towards pregnancy and childbirth may interact with women's experiences during delivery. Additionally, studies need to begin to evaluate possible long-term effects that these symptoms may have on women and their families.
Keywords: Childbirth trauma; Meta-analysis; Perinatal PTSD; Postpartum PTSD.
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