The relationship between the prevalence of postpartum depression and anxiety, and depression levels in the mothers of premature, and term newborns admitted to a pediatric emergency department



Postpartum depression, Preterm, Term


Background/Aim: Postpartum depression is a frequent condition that is seen within 4 weeks after giving birth. In addition to the common symptoms of depression such as low mood, change in appetite, and poor concentration, mothers with postpartum depression also experience guilt about their presumed inability to look after their baby. Preterm birth occurs approximately in 9.4% of all births. Despite this high rate, the effects of prematurity on postpartum depression have not been investigated thoroughly. The aim of this study is to compare the prevalence of postpartum depression in mothers of premature and term newborns, evaluate the relationship between anxiety and depression levels, while determining the sources of stress in recent mothers. Methods: The mothers who gave birth in the last three months to 50 premature and 50 term newborns who were admitted to the pediatric emergency service of a Training and Research Hospital between August 2017 and November 2017 were included in this cross-sectional type study. The participants filled out the sociodemographic and clinical data forms and responded to the Edinburgh Postpartum Depression Scale, the Beck Depression Inventory, and the Beck Anxiety Inventory. The results of the scales were statistically analyzed using SPSS 19.0 package program. Results: According to the Edinburgh Postpartum Depression Scale, 32% of the mothers of preterms and 28% of the mothers of term newborns were diagnosed with postpartum depression. In 58% of the mothers of preterms and 68% of the mothers of terms, minimal depression was present. When the cases were grouped according to the results of the Beck Anxiety Inventory, mild anxiety was found in 34% of the mothers of preterms, while mild anxiety was present in 18% of the mothers of term newborns. Comparison of the mothers of preterm and term newborns according to postpartum depression, Beck Depression Inventory, and the Beck Anxiety Scale revealed no statistically significant differences between the groups (P>0.05). Conclusion: Although the prevalence of postpartum depression and mild anxiety was higher in mothers of premature children, the results were not statistically significant. Studies with larger samples or meta-analysis of several studies may yield more significant results which may enable allocation of limited mental health resources to the mothers of premature children.


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Çetin S. The relationship between the prevalence of postpartum depression and anxiety, and depression levels in the mothers of premature, and term newborns admitted to a pediatric emergency department. J Surg Med [Internet]. 2021 Apr. 1 [cited 2022 Aug. 10];5(4):380-4. Available from: