academic journalism

The Effect of Stressful Life Events on Postpartum Depression


avatar M Jafarpour 1 , * , avatar M Esfandyari 1 , avatar Sh Mokhtarsahi 1 , avatar F Hoseini 1

1 Iran

How to Cite: Jafarpour M, Esfandyari M, Mokhtarsahi S, Hoseini F. The Effect of Stressful Life Events on Postpartum Depression. J Kermanshah Univ Med Sci. 2007;10(4):e81826.


Journal of Kermanshah University of Medical Sciences: 10 (4); e81826
Published Online: March 19, 2007
Article Type: Research Article
Received: April 03, 2006
Accepted: September 05, 2006


Introduction: Mood disorders such as depression are the most common psychological disorders in postpartum period and stressful life events that occur during pregnancy and may increase near to delivery.  These events have potentiality of changes of lifestyle and associated with physical and psychological diseases. Many studies such as those of Holmes and Rahe showed that there is a relationship between frequency and intensity of these events and the probability of occurring of disorder. This study aimed to assess prevalence of postpartum depression and its relationship with stressful life events.
Materials & Methods: 975 women who referred to Kermanshah Health Centers in 2006 were recruited. The data were collected using validated questionnairs of Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale ( EPDS) and Social Readjustment Rating Scale(SRRS). Descriptive statistics, , Fisher,s exact tests and logistic regression analysis were used to analayze the data.
Results: Prevalence of postpartum depression was 17.5% among the studied subjects. The results also showed that stressful life events such as   number of arguments with spouse (p>0.001), in-laws problems (p=0.001), envoving in an academic education (p=0.015), changeing the accommodation (p=0.017), divorce (p=0.026), foreclosure of mortgage (p=0.037) and change in sleeping habits (p=0.049) showed higher relationship with postpartum depression. A significant relationship between the intensity of events and postpartum depression was also found. ( p<0.001)
Conclusion: High prevalence of postpartum depression and its relationship with stressful life events suggested that more attention should be paid to mental health of pregnant women. We recommend that increasing educational and social supporting programs need to be considered for decreasing depression and stress in pregnancy and postpartum periods.


The full text of this article is available on PDF

© 2007, Journal of Kermanshah University of Medical Sciences. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License ( which permits copy and redistribute the material just in noncommercial usages, provided the original work is properly cited.