Purpose:To determine the effects of postpartum stress, depression, and social support on postpartum women's health.
Methods:With proportional stratified-quota sampling by birth rates in clinics and hospitals in Kaohsiung City, in southern Taiwan, 861 women were recruited for the study. The Hung Postpartum Stress Scale, the Beck Depression Inventory—Second Edition, the Social Support Scale, and the 12-item Chinese Health Questionnaire were used to examine women's postpartum stress, depression, social support, and health status during the postpartum period.
Results:The findings strongly supported the hypothesis that the effects of postpartum stress and depression on postpartum women's health are significant. The results also indicated that social support had an indirect effect on women's health.
Conclusions:Interventions to decrease postpartum stress and to improve social support might decrease the likelihood of postpartum women's depression, which in turn might enhance their overall health status.