, Volume 1, Issue 4, pp 167-173

Antenatal prevention of postnatal depression

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Summary

Twenty three women at risk for postpartum depression were offered ten classes in pregnancy and postpartum, focusing on parenting and coping strategies. Twenty one controls attended standard six antenatal classes. Postpartum there were no differences in depression scores, however, anxiety was less at six weeks postpartum in the intervention group. Over time both groups had reduced numbers and reduced satisfaction with supports, but this was greater in the control group. With respect to the marital relationship, this was also less satisfactory postpartum in the control group. The intervention group was well attended and participants satisfied with the alternative antenatal class format; larger studies for all first time mothers are recommended.