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Keywords:

  • Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale;
  • family;
  • husband;
  • multipara;
  • primipara

Abstract

Aim:  Postnatal depression is one of the life-threatening events faced by women. As the factors associated with postnatal depression have not been investigated fully in Japan, we studied the factors associated with postnatal depression.

Methods:  One-hundred-and-sixty-nine women who visited the health center of a city in Aomori Prefecture, Japan, at 4 months after childbirth for regular examination fulfilled the selection criteria and completed self-reporting questionnaires on postnatal depression using the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) and a life and social events scale.

Results:  The primiparas showed a significantly higher EPDS score than the multiparas. The EPDS score decreased with the frequency of delivery in the groups of mothers in their twenties and thirties. For the multiparas, the number of participants who suffered obstetric events was lower, the number of participants who went back to their home was higher, and the number of participants who were taken care of by their mother was lower than for the primiparas. General health abnormalities, sociability, and worries about baby care were significantly associated with the EPDS for both the primiparas and multiparas. The cooperation of the husband was associated with a decreased EPDS score, both for the primiparas and multiparas, irrespective of the family structure.

Conclusion:  The EPDS score decreased with an increased frequency of delivery, suggesting that the experience of delivery would impact on postnatal depression, partly because of decreased obstetric events. However, a social assistance system is needed for women with general health abnormalities, less sociability, worries about baby care, and limited cooperation of the husband for both primiparas and multiparas.