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Obesity (Silver Spring). 2008 Jun;16(6):1296-301. doi: 10.1038/oby.2008.71. Epub 2008 Mar 27.

Association of postpartum depression with weight retention 1 year after childbirth.

Author information

1
Obesity Prevention Program, Department of Ambulatory Care and Prevention, Harvard Medical School and Harvard Pilgrim HealthCare, Boston, Massachusetts, USA. sherring@hsph.harvard.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To examine the extent to which early postpartum depression is associated with weight retention 1 year after childbirth.

METHODS AND PROCEDURES:

In a prospective cohort study of 850 women enrolled in Project Viva, mothers reported depressive symptoms on the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) at midpregnancy and 6 months postpartum. A score >12 indicated probable depression. We assessed associations of antenatal and postpartum depression with risk of substantial weight retention (at least 5 kg) 1 year after childbirth.

RESULTS:

Seven-hundred thirty-six women (87%) were not depressed during or after pregnancy, 55 (6%) experienced antenatal depression only, 22 (3%) experienced both antenatal and postpartum depression, and 37 (4%) experienced postpartum depression only. At 1 year, participants retained a mean of 0.6 kg (range -16.4 to 25.5), and 12% retained at least 5 kg. In multivariate logistic regression analyses, after adjustment for weight-related covariates, maternal sociodemographics, and parity, new-onset postpartum depression was associated with more than a doubling of risk of retaining at least 5 kg (odds ratio (OR): 2.54, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.06, 6.09). Antenatal depression, either alone or in combination with postpartum depression, was not associated with substantial weight retention.

DISCUSSION:

New-onset postpartum depression was associated with substantial weight retention in the first postpartum year. Interventions to manage depressive symptoms may help reduce excess weight retained postpartum and aid in the prevention of obesity among women.

PMID:
18369338
PMCID:
PMC2761642
DOI:
10.1038/oby.2008.71
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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