Socio-Economic Determinants and Self-Reported Depressive Symptoms During Postpartum Period

Pamela Barbadoro, Giordano Cotichelli, Carlos Chiatti, Maria Luisa Simonetti, Anna Marigliano, Francesco Di Stanislao, Emilia Prospero

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The researchers' aims were to estimate the prevalence of postpartum depressive symptoms in Italy. Cross-sectional data from the survey, "Health and use of health care in Italy" were analyzed. The authors focused on 5,812 women, pregnant some time during five years before the survey. Multiple logistic regression was used to evaluate risk factors independently associated with postpartum depressive symptoms. Evaluation of seasonal trends was also performed.In the total sample, 23.5% (n = 1,365) reported having suffered postpartum depressive symptoms: 20.7% experienced baby blues, and 2.8% postpartum depression. Factors significantly associated with baby blues were, among others, living in northern or central areas (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] 1.88; 95%CI 1.57-2.15 and 1.40; 95%CI 1.20-1.63, respectively), history of depression (aOR 1.34; 95%CI 1.15-1.56), and attendance at antenatal classes (aOR 1.13; 95%CI 1.04-1.22). Factors significantly associated with postpartum depression were: anamnesis of depression (aOR 3.32; 95%CI 2.69-4.09), gaining more than 16 kg of weight during pregnancy (aOR 1.48; 95%CI 1.03-2.12), and undergoing a cesarean section (planned: aOR 1.56; 95%CI 1.05-2.29; unplanned: aOR 1.78; 95%CI 1.16-2.73). Multiparity was a protective factor both for baby blues (aOR 0.80; 95%CI 0.70-0.91), and postpartum depression (aOR 0.71; 95%CI 0.51-0.98). No clear seasonality was observed for postpartum depression, while for baby blues a certain aggregation of events was registered during the central months of the year. The authors' study highlighted variables associated with baby blues and postpartum depression to target screening for women for postpartum depressive symptoms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)352-368
Number of pages17
JournalWomen and Health
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - May 2012


  • depression
  • epidemiology
  • postpartum

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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