Determining the association of psycho-social wellbeing and post-partum depression in mothers older than 18 years as evaluated within 8 weeks after delivery, in the Free State, South Africa
Pieterse, F. I.
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The study investigated whether the psycho-social wellbeing of a pre-natal or postnatal mothers exacerbate post-partum depression. The study was conducted using 79 patients over 18 years of age who had delivered during the previous weeks. The sample was accessed from patients visiting their gynaecologist for the babies’ inoculation and for the first consultation after delivery. A biographic, questionnaire, a psycho-social wellbeing scale and the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale was completed by the patients under supervision of a receptionist who had been trained for this task by the researcher. The variables collected were: the scores on the two scales mentioned above as well as the respondents’ age, the time period after the birth at which the consultation was taking place, whether the pregnancy was planned of unplanned, the use of antidepressants and substances (smoking, alcohol, painkillers) during the said period. Using a quantitative descriptive and inferential design, the data was analysed by a professional statistician. The simple stepwise regression indicated that the only variable that significantly predicted post-partum depression was psycho-social wellbeing. The results indicate the need for educational intervention with patients and the medical facilitators during and after delivery.