Archives of Women’s Mental Health

, Volume 7, Issue 2, pp 123–131

Postpartum depression: in relation to life events and patterns of coping


  • A. Faisal-Cury
    • Department of ObstetricsUniversity of São Paulo
  • J. J. A. Tedesco
    • Department of Obstetrics and GynecologySanta Casa Medical School of São Paulo
  • S. Kahhale
    • Department of ObstetricsUniversity of São Paulo
  • P. R. Menezes
    • Department of Preventive MedicineUniversity of São Paulo
  • M. Zugaib
    • Department of ObstetricsUniversity of São Paulo
Original contribution

DOI: 10.1007/s00737-003-0038-0

Cite this article as:
Faisal-Cury, A., Tedesco, J., Kahhale, S. et al. Arch Womens Ment Health (2004) 7: 123. doi:10.1007/s00737-003-0038-0


The purpose of this study was to estimate the prevalence of postpartum depression (PPD) and its relationship with life events (LE) and patterns for coping. We performed a cross-sectional study of 113 women, on the 10th day of puerperium, at the Obstetric Clinic of the São Paulo University Medical School. The study was based on the following: Pitt (1967) and Stein (1980) Scales, Beck Depression Inventory (1961), Holmes and Rahe Schedule of Recent Events (1967), Folkman and Lazarus Ways of Coping (1985) and questionnaire of social-demographic and obstetric data. Logistic regression was performed to calculate prevalence of PPD and its association with several risk factors. The significance level was defined at 5%. The prevalence of PPD was 15.9% (IC 9.7% to 24.0%). According to the multivariate analyses, the variables of coping with distancing, number of children and ethnic origin were significant. There were no association between PPD and LE. The depressed puerperal women have a low educational level, greater number of children and resort to inadequate coping strategies, such as distancing. This pattern of coping might be an etiological factor of the PPD as well as a reaction to their difficult life environment.

Keywords: Postpartum depression; coping; risk factors; questionnaires; Beck Depression Inventory.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag/Wien 2003