Prevalence and correlates of postpartum depression in a teaching hospital in Nigeria

  • TJ Obindo
  • CC Ekwempu
  • AN Ocheke
  • CG Piwuna
  • EO Adegbe
  • OO Omigbodun
Keywords: Depression, Low Birth Weight, Postpartum, Suicidality


Background: Postpartum depression is a common and disabling disorder seen in new mothers having many deleterious effects on the new mother, the new infant, the father, the family and the society at large. This study determined the prevalence and socio-demographic correlates of postpartum depression among new mothers.
Method: This was a cross-sectional descriptive study involving 392 new mothers at the Postnatal Clinic of the department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and the Children Welfare clinic of the Jos University Teaching Hospital, Jos. Nigeria. These women were administered the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) questionnaire alongside a modified socio-demographic questionnaire 6-8 weeks postpartum.
Result: The mean age of the women was 28.0 ±5.8 years. 385 (98.2%) were currently married, 169 (43.1%) were Muslims, 161 (41.1%) were of the Orthodox Christian denomination while 62 (15.8%) were Pentecostal Christians. 221 (56.3%) had a minimum of secondary education; 200 (51.3%) were employed; 40 (10.3%) were students while the remaining 152 (38.4%) were full-time housewives. The prevalence of Postpartum Depression was 44.5% using a cutoff of 7. No significant association was found with any of the psychosocial factors studied save with religion, birth weight of the baby and suicidality.
Conclusion: Postpartum depression is a common disorder which has serious consequences. In a busy setting like the Obstetrics and Gynaecology units, where clinical diagnosis may be impossible, routine screening of new mothers for postpartum depression using EPDS will help in identifying possible cases who can then be sent to the Psychiatrists for clinical assessment and management.

Keywords: Depression; Low Birth Weight; Postpartum; Suicidality


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eISSN: 1596-2407