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Matern Child Health J. 2009 Nov;13(6):832-8. doi: 10.1007/s10995-008-0418-1. Epub 2008 Oct 4.

Occurrence and correlates of postpartum depression in overweight and obese women: results from the active mothers postpartum (AMP) study.

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  • 1Department of Community and Family Medicine, Duke University Medical Center, Box 104006, Durham, NC 27710, USA.



Postpartum depression (PPD) is a significant concern for new mothers and their infants, as well as the health professionals who care for them. Obesity may be a risk factor for depression, and therefore, for PPD specifically. We examined the occurrence and risk factors for PPD in a sample of overweight and obese new mothers.


In this cross-sectional study, 491 women who were overweight or obese prior to pregnancy completed the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) 6 weeks postpartum, along with a number of other health- and pregnancy-related measures. Occurrence of depression was investigated, as well as bivariate and multivariate relationships between depression and demographic and health-related characteristics.


As determined by an EPDS score of 13 or higher, the prevalence of PPD was 9.2%. Three items on the scale stood out as drivers of the total score ("blame myself unnecessarily", "anxious or worried," "feel overwhelmed"). Bivariate correlates of depression included education, income, marital status, and self-reported chronic illness; income remained significant in the multivariate logistic regression model. BMI was not related to postpartum depression.


In this group of overweight and obese women, there was no association between BMI group and postpartum depression.

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