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Arch Womens Ment Health. 2005 Nov;8(4):221-31. Epub 2005 Sep 20.

Some early indicators for depressive symptoms and bonding 2 months postpartum--a study of new mothers and fathers.

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Department of Woman and Child Health, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.


The aim was to investigate associations between blues, bonding, perception of the child's temperament and depressive symptoms two months postpartum in both parents. Questionnaires to be filled out during the first week were; Blues Questionnaires day 1-5, Postpartum Bonding Questionnaire (PBQ) and Edinburgh Postpartum Depressive Scale (EPDS) and at two months; questions about breastfeeding, EPDS, PBQ and the Infant Characteristic Questionnaire (ICQ). In all, 106 couples returned all questionnaires on both occasions. Although there were differences in parents' rated levels of blues, depressive symptoms and postpartum bonding, we found many similarities in the ratings. Blues, bonding and depressive symptoms in the other partner were significantly related to EPDS in both parents. Thus, we found a risk for couple morbidity. The similarities between the parents' responses could be interpreted in terms of a broader human way of reacting to childbirth, while the differences e.g. their understanding of the child could refer to different gender roles.

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