Annals of Tropical Medicine and Public Health
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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 184-190

Postnatal depression and its associated factors among Northeastern Nigerian women

1 Department of Psychiatry, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University Teaching Hospital, Bauchi, Nigeria
2 Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University Teaching Hospital, Bauchi, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Dauda Sulyman
Department of Psychiatry, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University Teaching Hospital, Bauchi
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1755-6783.179099

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Background: Postnatal depression is a serious psychiatric condition that occurs in puerperium. It is associated with increased morbidity and can overwhelm new mothers and interfere with the care of their babies. This study aimed to determine the prevalence rate of postnatal depression and assess factors that are associated with its development among northeastern Nigerian women. Materials and Methods: Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) questionnaire was administered to four hundred and eighty-three women who delivered at the maternity unit of a tertiary health institution in northeastern Nigeria. Their sociodemographic and clinical variables were also obtained using pro forma questionnaire designed by the researchers. Results: One hundred and eight respondents scored 13 or more points on EPNDS, making the prevalence rate of postnatal depression 22.4%. Factors that are associated with the development of postnatal depression are unemployment [odds ratio (OR) = 0.49, 95% (CI) = 0.27-0.86, P value = 0.018), lack of support from the husband (OR = 0.34, 95% CI = 0.19-0.60, P value = 0.000), and primiparity (OR = 0.56, 95% CI = 0.35-0.88, P value = 0.013); others are unplanned pregnancy (OR = 0.56, 95% CI = 0.35-0.88, P value = 0.013) and physical illness in the mother (OR = 1.81, 95% CI = 1.77-2.79, P value = 0.007). Conclusion: The study showed that a significant proportion of new mothers have postnatal depression. This may negatively affect their parenting skills and may have adverse effects on them and their children. Early detection and effective management, together with an efficient collaboration among psychiatrists, obstetricians, and other health workers who are involved in the care of new mothers, will go a long way in reducing the negative consequences that may result from this condition.

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