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Behav Sleep Med. 2009;7(2):106-17. doi: 10.1080/15402000902762394.

Sleep complaints in late pregnancy and the recurrence of postpartum depression.

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Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA.


This study evaluated the relationship between sleep quality in late pregnancy and recurrence of postpartum major depression (PPMD) through 28 weeks postpartum. The Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) at 36 weeks gestation was assessed in 51 non-depressed women with a history of PPMD; recurrence was determined by the 21-item Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression and the Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia. Sleep quality in late pregnancy was not related to recurrence per se, but it was related to timing of recurrence (Kruskal-Wallace = 9.78, p = .008). Rapid recurrence (within 4 weeks post delivery) was preceded by fewer sleep complaints (mean PSQI for early recurrers = 4.8 vs. 7.3 for non-recurrers, p = .09). Recurrence after 4 weeks postpartum was preceded by more sleep complaints in late pregnancy (mean PSQI for late recurrers = 9.9 vs. 7.3 for non-recurrers, p = .02). Sleep quality in late pregnancy may help in identifying women at risk for a PPMD recurrence.

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