Prevalence of postpartum depression in women amid the COVID-19 pandemic: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Int J Gynaecol Obstet. 2022 May;157(2):240-247. doi: 10.1002/ijgo.14129. Epub 2022 Feb 28.


COVID-19 outbreaks appear to be related to exacerbation of psychological problems such as depression and anxiety in high-risk population such as pregnant women and the postpartum period due to stress and life-threatening illnesses. The aim of this study was to evaluate the prevalence of postpartum depression (PPD) during COVID-19. This study protocol is registered in PROSPERO with CRD42021278425 code. Data sources including Google Scholar, ISC, Magiran, Scopus, PubMed, Embase, and Web of Science and reference list of included articles were used to identify related studies. Observational studies that reported the prevalence of PPD in both Persian and English during COVID-19 between January 20, 2020 and August 31, 2021 were included. Data were collected and analyzed with a random effects model for meta-analysis. In this study, 671 initial articles were identified and after removing duplicates, 454 studies were screened and finally 24 studies entered the meta-analysis stage. According to this study results PPD based on Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) ≥9, EPDS ≥10, EPDS ≥11, EPDS ≥12, EPDS ≥13, Postpartum Depression Screening Scale-Short Form (PDSS-SF) ≥17 and total prevalence was reported 12% (95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.07-17, I2 = 97%), 27% (95% CI = 15-39, I2 = 99%), 44% (95% CI = 40-49, I2 = 0.0%), 27% (95% CI = 0.06-49, I2 = 97.4%), 28% (95% CI = 18-39, I2 = 98.5%), 37% (95% CI = 32-42), 28% (95% CI = 23-33, I2 = 98.5%). The findings of this study showed that the prevalence of PPD in women is relatively high during COVID-19. Therefore, considering the psychological consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic and the importance of pregnancy and the postpartum period in terms of the emergence of mental disorders, especially depression, it seems necessary to perform interventions and physical and psychological support.

Keywords: COVID-19; mental health; postpartum depression; women.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19* / epidemiology
  • Depression, Postpartum* / diagnosis
  • Depression, Postpartum* / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Pandemics
  • Postpartum Period
  • Pregnancy
  • Prevalence