Mode of delivery is not associated with postpartum depression

August 1, 2011

Although mode of delivery does not seem to influence the occurrence of postpartum depression, a number of other factors do, according to a study.

Although mode of delivery does not seem to influence the occurrence of postpartum depression, a number of other factors do, according to a prospective cohort study from Canada.

Researchers included 2,560 women from 11 hospitals in Ontario, all of whom were at least 16 years of age and had delivered live singleton infants at term. About one-third of the women (32.3%) delivered via cesarean with about half of those (51.7%) planning the procedure ahead of time. The rate of postpartum depression at 6 weeks, determined by a score of 12 of higher on the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale, was 7.6%.

Although mode of delivery was not independently associated with depression, 11 other variables had a statistically significantly association with it. Young maternal age (25 years of age or younger), for example, made women more than 5 times as likely to experience postpartum depression (OR, 5.27; 95% CI, 2.73-10.15). Other factors included maternal hospital readmission (OR, 3.02; 95% CI, 1.46-6.24); non-initiation of breastfeeding (OR, 2.02; 95% CI, 0.99-4.11); good, fair, or poor self-reported postpartum health (OR, 1.82; 95% CI, 1.19-2.80); urinary incontinence (OR, 1.79; 95% CI, 1.06-3.03); multiparity (OR, 1.59; 95% CI, 1.22-2.08); low mental health functioning (OR, 1.20; 95% CI, 1.15-1.25); low subjective social status (OR, 1.16; 95% CI, 1.02-1.33); high number of unmet learning needs in hospital (OR, 1.12; 95% CI, 1.03-1.22); low social support (OR, 1.06; 95% CI, 1.03-1.09); and low physical health functioning (OR, 1.03; 95% CI, 1.003-1.055).

Sword W, Landy CK, Thabane L, et al. Is mode of delivery associated with postpartum depression at 6 weeks: a prospective cohort study. BJOG. 2011;118(8):966-977.