POSTPARTUM DEPRESSION: ASSESSMENT OF CULTURAL RISK FACTORS
Objective: To explore the cultural risk factors influencing the Postpartum Depression of first-born infants’
Study Design: Correlational survey.
Place and Duration of Study: Jannat Maternity Home, Dera Ghazi Khan, Pakistan, from Jan to Nov 2019.
Methodology: A sample of 101 first-born infants’ mothers with ages ranging from 18 to 26 years was selected
through purposive sampling. Edinburgh Post-Partum Depression Scale and Oslo Social Support Scale were used.
Results: Results suggested significantly lower mean scores for Postpartum Depression of mothers having a firstborn baby boy (M=5.98, SD=2.44) and higher for those having a girl (M=18.33, SD=4.62). Multi-factorial analysis of variance indicated a significant main effect of Social Support and Family System on Postpartum Depression levels of first-born infants’ mothers, explaining 44% and 11% variance respectively. Further, Post-Hoc analysis revealed higher levels of Postpartum Depression for mothers having poor Social Support (M=17.30, SD=6.15) as compared to those having moderate (M=9.68, SD=6.27) and strong Social Support (M=6.26, SD=2.30). Moreover, pair wise-comparisons demonstrated higher levels of Postpartum Depression for first-born infants’ mothers belonging to nuclear families (M=17.61, SD=7.09) as compared to joint ones (M=9.60, SD=5.70).
Conclusion: The study establishes that first-born infants’ gender, degree of social support, and nature of family
have a profound effect on the Postpartum Depression levels of mothers. These findings will extend the understanding of cultural risk factors influencing first-born infants’ mother’s mental health.