OBJECTIVE: To describe the prevalence of postpartum depressive symptoms after preeclampsia, to assess the extent to which the prevalence of postpartum depressive symptoms differs after mild and severe preeclampsia, and to investigate which factors contribute to such differences.
METHODS: Women diagnosed with preeclampsia (n=161) completed the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) at 6, 12, or 26 weeks postpartum. Multiple logistic regression analysis was used to investigate the association between severity of preeclampsia, contributing factors and postpartum depression (PPD) (1) at any time during the first 26 weeks postpartum and (2) accounting for longitudinal observations at three time points.
RESULTS: After mild preeclampsia, 23% reported postpartum depressive symptoms at any time up to 26 weeks postpartum compared to 44% after severe preeclampsia (unadjusted odds ratio [OR] 2.65, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.16-6.05) for depression at any time up to 26 weeks postpartum (unadjusted OR 2.57, 95% CI, 1.14-5.76) while accounting for longitudinal observations. Admission to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) (adjusted OR 3.19, 95% CI 1.15-8.89) and perinatal death (adjusted OR 2.96, 95% CI 1.09-8.03) contributed to this difference.
CONCLUSIONS: It appears that not the severity of preeclampsia itself but rather the consequences of the severity of the disease (especially admission to the NICU and perinatal death) cause postpartum depressive symptoms. Obstetricians should be aware of the high risk of postpartum depressive symptoms after severe preeclampsia, particularly among women whose infant has been admitted to the NICU or has died.
- Depression, Postpartum/epidemiology
- Pregnancy Complications
- Young Adult