Caesarean section is a risk factor for postpartum depression, finds new study

Caesarean section is a risk factor for postpartum depression, finds new study

Caesarean section is a risk factor for postpartum depression, and the level of pain experienced is a marker of its potential severity, according to a study featuring in the upcoming edition of Midwifery from ScienceDirect.

Dr Michalina Ilska, Research and Teaching Assistant at the University of Silesia in Poland, and her co-authors studied the links between the severity of early symptoms of postpartum depression and pain in Polish women in the early puerperium.

Their aim was to examine the differences between women following vaginal delivery and caesarean section (elective or emergency) in terms of early symptoms of postpartum depression, and to evaluate pain during labour and in the early puerperium. An additional goal was to determine if pain evaluation is associated with depressive symptoms.

A cross-sectional study was conducted among 224 women in the early puerperium recruited from a public hospital in Poland, who were divided into three groups by method of delivery: caesarean section (elective and emergency), and a vaginal delivery.

The measurement tools used in the research were the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) and a Numerical Rating Scale (NRS). A Pearson correlation analysis, a Student’s t-test, a Mann–Whitney U test for independent groups and nonparametric multivariate analyses of variance (Kruskal–Wallis test) were carried out.

They found that caesarean section is a risk factor for postpartum depression, and the level of pain experienced is a marker of its potential severity.

The studies authors concluded: “The evaluation of factors associated with postpartum pain and depressive symptoms can help midwives to counsel women better about their delivery alternatives and can promote improved management of women undergoing both types of delivery experiences.”

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