Prevalence rates and demographic characteristics associated with depression in pregnancy and the postpartum

J Consult Clin Psychol. 1989 Apr;57(2):269-74. doi: 10.1037//0022-006x.57.2.269.


Examined the prevalence of depression in a heterogeneous sample of 360 pregnant women. Subjects were assessed with respect to both depressive symptomatology and diagnostic status during pregnancy and after delivery. At both assessments, approximately 25% of the sample reported elevated levels of depressive symptomatology. In contrast, 10% of the women met diagnostic criteria for depression during pregnancy, and 6.8% were depressed postpartum. However, only half of the cases of postpartum depression were new onset (3.4%); the remaining women receiving a diagnosis in the postpartum had also been depressed during pregnancy. Finally, depression during pregnancy was related to different sociodemographic variables than was postpartum depression, suggesting that depression at these two times may be associated with different psychological or etiological factors.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Depressive Disorder / epidemiology*
  • Family Characteristics
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications / epidemiology*
  • Puerperal Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Risk Factors
  • Socioeconomic Factors