Vol 78, No 7 (2007)

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Psychological causative factors in postpartum depression amongst women with normal and high-risk pregnancies

Karolina Kossakowska-Petrycka, Katarzyna Walęcka-Matyja
Ginekol Pol 2007;78(7).


Objectives: The study presented in the following article was based on the assumption a state of mind of a mother-to-be directly influences her state of mind after giving birth. The aim of the study was to determine whether a case of a high-risk pregnancy, and the related stress, can be significant causative factors in postpartum depression, in case of pregnancies with a normal course, as well as whether incidences of postpartum depression among women with normal and high-risk pregnancies are correlated with the level of stress and depression experienced during pregnancy. Materials and Methods: 70 women were examined in the study: 35 women with normal pregnancies represented the control group and 35 women with high-risk pregnancies represented the study group. The following methods were used to find answers to the posed research questions: a demographic survey, Perceived Stress Scale, the Beck Depression Scale and the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale. Results: Women with high-risk pregnancies demonstrated a significantly much higher level of stress and related negative emotions; also they handled the stress and emotions worse than women with normal pregnancies. Also, higher intensity of depression symptoms during pregnancy were observed in the study group of women with high-risk pregnancies. In both groups, higher intensity of symptoms of post-childbirth depression was correlated with higher level of stress and more severe depression during pregnancy. Conclusions: Pregnancy – especially high-risk pregnancy, which is associated with health difficulties and complications, and consequently, higher stress level, feelings of uncertainty and depression – is an additional risk factor of postpartum depression. There exists a necessity to create therapeutic programs aimed at psychological support for suffering women.

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