Labor Epidural Analgesia and Postpartum Depression

Arch Depress Anxiety. 2017;2(2):044-46. doi: 10.17352/2455-5460.000014. Epub 2016 Nov 14.


Introduction: Epidural labor analgesia may decrease the risk of postpartum depression (PPD).

Methods: In a secondary analysis of a prospective study, the association between epidural utilization and PPD was evaluated using a Fisher's exact test. PPD was defined as an Edinburgh Postnatal Depression score of ≥ 10 at 6-8 weeks postpartum.

Results: 20% (13/65) of women meet criteria for PDD. 24% (n=12/50) of women who received epidural labor analgesia developed PPD, compared to 6.7% (n=1/15) of women who did not receive epidural labor analgesia (P = 0.27).

Conclusions: Labor epidural analgesia did not reduce the risk of postpartum depression.