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BMC Psychiatry. 2019 Jul 29;19(1):232. doi: 10.1186/s12888-019-2188-2.

The effect of perceived social support during early pregnancy on depressive symptoms at 6 weeks postpartum: a prospective study.

Author information

1
Ministry of Education-Shanghai Key Laboratory of Children's Environmental Health, Xinhua Hospital, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, 1665 Kongjiang Road, Shanghai, 200092, China.
2
Department of Neurology, East Hospital, Tongji University School of Medicine, Shanghai, 200120, China.
3
Department of Medical Psychology, Xinhua hospital affiliated to Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, Shanghai, China.
4
Department of Neurology, East Hospital, Tongji University School of Medicine, Shanghai, 200120, China. gxb0033@163.com.
5
Ministry of Education-Shanghai Key Laboratory of Children's Environmental Health, Xinhua Hospital, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, 1665 Kongjiang Road, Shanghai, 200092, China. zhangjun@xinhuamed.com.cn.
6
Ministry of Education-Shanghai Key Laboratory of Children's Environmental Health, Xinhua Hospital, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, 1665 Kongjiang Road, Shanghai, 200092, China. simpledandan1981@163.com.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Postpartum depression was associated with maternal suffering and diminished functioning, increased risk of marital conflict as well as adverse child outcomes. Perceived social support during pregnancy was associated with postpartum depression among women. However, its causal relationship remains unclear. Therefore, we prospectively evaluate the association between perceived social support during early pregnancy and postpartum depressive symptoms.

METHODS:

We prospectively examined whether perceived social support during early pregnancy affected depressive symptoms at 6 weeks postpartum in a cohort of 3310 women. Perceived social support and postpartum depression were assessed by ENRICHD Social Support Instrument (ESSI) and the postpartum Edinburgh Postpartum Depression Scale (EPDS), respectively. Prevalence of postpartum depressive symptoms was 11.4% (EPDS cutoff≥10). As a test of heterogeneity of association in subpopulations, logistic regression models were performed to analyze the association between social support and postpartum depressive symptoms in strata which were defined by the potential confounder candidates. After multiple imputation, multivariable logistic regression was performed to assess the effect of social support on postpartum symptoms in individual items and total score. Two models were built. Model I adjusted for the variables associated with social support or postpartum depression and changed the association estimates by ≥10%. Model II adjusted for all variables that may be related to social support or postpartum depression.

RESULTS:

Significant associations between low perceived social support and postpartum depressive symptoms was found(Model I odds ratio: 1.63, 95% confidence interval: 1.15, 2.30; Model II odds ratio: 1.77, 95% confidence interval: 1.24-2.52). Stratified analyses showed that there was little evidence of heterogeneity of association in subpopulations by basic characteristics of participants.

CONCLUSIONS:

These findings suggest that early intervention may be able to help protect against depression symptoms at 6 weeks postpartum.

KEYWORDS:

Postpartum depression; Postpartum depressive symptoms; Pregnancy; Prospective study; Social support

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