Impact of socio-cultural factors on postpartum depression in South Indian women


  • Poomalar GK Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Sri Manakula Vinayagar Medical College Hospital, Madagadipet-605107, Puducherry, India
  • Bupathy Arounassalame Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Sri Manakula Vinayagar Medical College Hospital, Madagadipet-605107, Puducherry, India


Postpartum depression, Risk factors, Gender preference


Background: The prevalence of postpartum depression (PPD) ranges from 7.6% to 39% in various areas of the world. In our mixed population of both educated and uneducated group, we cannot expect all delivered women to turn back to obstetrician after discharge. So detection of postpartum psychiatric disorders remains a major problem. Objectives of current study were to evaluate the prevalence of postpartum depression in immediate postpartum period in south Indian women and to evaluate the risk factors for postpartum depression.

Methods: A cross sectional study was done in 254 women before discharge from hospital. Details regarding socio-demographic characteristics, perinatal events, gender preferences, social support, and relationships within family members were collected. Chi square test was used to analyse the risk factors associated with PPD.

Results: Out of various factors analysed, type of marriage, recent stressful life event, addiction in husband, past history of psychiatric illness, order of pregnancy were significantly associated with PPD. In contrast to usual belief of parent’s preference to male child, our study results show most of them preferred female child.

Conclusions: Parent’s preference to female child in our study may be attributed to change in family type and increasing employment and high income among women. Evaluation of women before discharge will help to avoid missing PPD women. Early detection of symptoms can facilitate timely treatment, referral to appropriate mental health providers, and prevention of major depression. 


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