Archives of Women's Mental Health

, Volume 10, Issue 3, pp 103–109 | Cite as

Depression during pregnancy and the postpartum period in adolescent and adult Portuguese mothers

  • B. Figueiredo
  • A. Pacheco
  • R. Costa
Original contribution


Objective: To study prevalence as well as risk factors for pregnancy and postpartum depression in a sample of adolescent and adult Portuguese mothers.

Methods: The Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) was administered to 108 (54 adult and 54 adolescent) Portuguese women at 24–36 weeks of pregnancy and at 2–3 months postpartum.

Results: Rates for EPDS > 12 are high during the 3rd trimester of pregnancy (18.5%) and at 2–3 months postpartum (17.6%), and not significantly different between these two periods; more than 1/4 of the sample (27.8%) had an EPDS > 12 before or after delivery. Adolescent mothers presented more depressive symptoms as well as more EPDS > 12 than adult mothers, both in pregnancy (25.9% versus 11.1%) and at 2–3 months postpartum (25.9% versus 9.3%); moreover, when considering other socio-demographics, adolescent mothers were still at risk for depressive symptoms during pregnancy as well as for postpartum depression. Women depressed in pregnancy, and ones who are under 18 years old and who live with the partner, were at risk for postpartum EPDS > 12.

Conclusion: Adolescent mothers seem particularly at risk for depression during pregnancy and the postpartum period, therefore, just like the women who are depressed during pregnancy, they should be better targeted in preventive and intervention measures.

Keywords: Adolescent mothers; EPDS; Portuguese women; postpartum depression; pregnancy depression. 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Adouard, F, Glangeaud-Freudenthal, NM, Golse, B 2005Validation of the Edinburgh postnatal depression scale (EPDS) in a sample of women with high-risk pregnancies in FranceArch Womens Ment Health88995PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Agoub, M, Moussaoui, D, Battas, O 2005Prevalence of postpartum depression in a Moroccan sampleArch Womens Ment Health83743PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Andersson, L, Sundstrom-Poromaa, I, Bixo, M, Wulff, M, Bondestam, K, Strom, M 2003Point prevalence of psychiatric disorders during the second trimester of pregnancy: a population-based studyAm J Obstet Gynecol189148154PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Areias, MEG, Kumar, R, Barros, H, Figueiredo, E 1996aCorrelates of postnatal depression in mothers and fathersBr J Psychiatry1693641Google Scholar
  5. Areias, MEG, Kumar, R, Barros, H, Figueiredo, E 1996bComparative incidence of depression in women and men, during pregnancy and after childbirth. Validation of the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale in Portuguese mothersBr J Psychiatry1693035Google Scholar
  6. Atkinson, AK, Rickel, AU 1984Postpartum depression in primiparous parentsJ Abnorm Psychol93115119PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Augusto, A, Kumar, R, Calheiros, JM, Matos, E, Figueiredo, E 1996Post-natal depression in an urban area of Portugal: comparison of childbearing women and matched controlsPsychol Med26135141PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Barnet, B, Joffe, A, Duggan, AK, Wilson, M, Repke, J 1996Depressive symptoms, stress, and social support in pregnant and postpartum adolescentsArch Pediatr Adolesc Med1506469PubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. Barth, RP, Schinke, SP, Maxwell, JS 1983Psychological correlates of teenage motherhoodJ Youth Adolesc12471487PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Chung, T, Lau, T, Yip, A, Chiu, H, Lee, D 2001Antepartum depressive symptomatology is associated with adverse obstetric and neonatal outcomesPsychosom Med63830834PubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. Colleta, ND 1983At risk for depression: a study of young mothersJ Genet Psychol142301310Google Scholar
  12. Cooper, PJ, Murray, L, Hooper, R, West, A 1996The development and validation of a predictive index for postpartum depressionAnn Med Psychol26627634Google Scholar
  13. Costa R, Pacheco A, Figueiredo B (2007) Prevalence and predictors of postpartum depression. Rev Psiquiat Clínica 34 (in press).Google Scholar
  14. Cox, JL, Holden, JM, Sagovsky, R 1987Detection of postnatal depression: Development of the 10-item Edinburgh Postnatal Depression ScaleBr J Psychiatry150782786PubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. Da Costa, D, Larouche, J, Dritsa, M, Brender, W 2000Psychosocial correlates of prepartum and postpartum depressed moodJ Affect Disord593140PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Deal, LW, Holtz, VL 1998Young maternal age and depressive symptoms: results from the 1988 national maternal and infant health surveyAm J Publ Health88266270Google Scholar
  17. Diego, M, Field, T, Hernandez-Reif, M, Cullen, C, Schanberg, S, Kuhn, C 2004Prepartum, postpartum and chronic depression effects on newbornsPsychiatry676380PubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. Eberhardt-Gran, M, Tambs, K, Opjordsmoen, S, Skrondal, A, Eskild, A 2003A comparison of anxiety and depressive symptomatology in postpartum and non-postpartum womenSoc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol38551556CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Evans, J, Heron, J, Francomb, H, Oke, S, Golding, J 2001Cohort of depressed mood during pregnancy and after childbirthBr Med J323257260CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Felice, E, Saliba, J, Grech, V, Cox, J 2006Validation of the Maltese version of the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression ScaleArch Womens Ment Health97580PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Field, T, Diego, M, Dieter, J, Hernandez-Reif, M, Salman, F, Schanberg, S, Kuhn, C, Yando, R, Bendell, D 2002Prenatal anger effects on the fetus and neonateJ Obstet Gynaecol22260266PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Figueiredo B (1997) Postpartum depression, mother-infant interaction and child development, PhD dissertation not published. Universidade do Minho, Braga.Google Scholar
  23. Figueiredo, B, Bifulco, A, Pacheco, A, Costa, R, Magarinho, R 2006Teenage pregnancy, attachment style and depression: a comparison of teenage and adult pregnant women in a Portuguese seriesAttach Hum Dev8123138PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Gorman, L O’Hara, M Figueiredo, B Hayes, S Jaquemain, F Klier, C Rosi, S Seneviratne, G Sutter-Dallay, AL TCS-PND group2004Adaptation of the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV disorder for assessing depression in women during pregnancy and postpartum across countries and culturesBr J Psychiatry1841825Google Scholar
  25. Hobfoll, S, Ritter, C, Lavin, J, Hulsizer, M, Cameron, R 2005Depression prevalence and incidence among inner-city pregnant and postpartum womenJ Consult Clini Psychol63445453CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Hudson, DB, Elek, SM, Campbell-Grossman, C 2000Depression, self-esteem, loneliness, and social support in adolescent mothers participating in the New Mothers’ NetworkAdolescence35443453Google Scholar
  27. Johanson, R, Chapman, G, Murray, D, Johnson, I, Cox, J 2000The North Staffordshire Maternity Hospital prospective study of pregnancy-associated depressionJ Psychosom Obstet Gynaecol219397PubMedGoogle Scholar
  28. Jones, N, Field, T, Fox, N, Davalos, M, Lundy, B, Hart, S 1998Newborns of mothers with depressive symptoms are physiologically less developedInfant Behav Develop285970Google Scholar
  29. Josefsson, A, Berg, G, Nordin, C, Sydsjo, G 2001Prevalence of depressive symptoms in late pregnancy and postpartumActa Obstet Gynecol Scand80251255PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Kitamura, T, Yoshida, K, Okano, T, Kinoshita, K, Hayashi, M, Toyoda, N, Ito, M, Kudo, N, Tada, K, Kanazawa, K, Sakumoto, K, Satoh, S, Furukawa, T, Nakano, H 2006Multicentre prospective study of perinatal depression in Japan: incidence and correlates of antenatal and postnatal depressionArch Womens Ment Health9121130PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Kumar, R, Robson, K 1984A prospective study of emotional disorders in childbearing womenBr J Psychiatry1443547PubMedGoogle Scholar
  32. Leadbeater, BJR, Linares, O 1992Depressive symptoms and neglect and Puerto Rican adolescent mothers in the first three years postpartumDev Psychopathol4451468CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Limlomwongse, N, Liabsuetrakul, T 2006Cohort study of depressive moods in Thai women during late pregnancy and 6–8 weeks of postpartum using the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS)Arch Womens Ment Health9131138PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Lindgren, K 2001Relationships among maternal-fetal attachment, prenatal depression, and health practices in pregnancyRes Nurs Health24203217PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Lundy, B, Jones, N, Field, T, Nearing, G, Davalos, M, Pietro, P, Schanberg, S, Kuhn, C 1999Prenatal depression effects on neonatesInfant Behav Develop22119129CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Marcus, S, Flynn, H, Blow, F, Barry, K 2003Depressive symptoms among pregnant women screened in obstetrics settingsJ Womens Health12373380CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. McGee, R, Williams, S, Kashani, JH, Silva, PA 1983Prevalence of self-reported depressive symptoms and associated social factors in mothers in DunedinBr J Psychiatry143473479PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. McKee, MD, Cunningham, M, Jankowski, KR, Zayas, L 2001Health-related functional status in pregnancy: Relationship to depression and social support in a multi-ethnic populationObstet Gynecol97988993PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Milan, S, Ickovics, JR, Kershaw, T, Lewis, J, Meade, C, Ethier, K 2004Prevalence, course, and predictors of emotional distress in pregnant and parenting adolescentsJ Consult Clin Psychol72328340PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Murray, L, Stanley, C, Hooper, R, King, F, Fiori-Cowley, A 1996The role of infant factors in postnatal depression and mother-infant interactionsDev Med Child Neurol38109119PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. O’Hara, MW 1986Social support, life events, and depression during pregnancy and the puerperiumArch Gen Psychiatry43569573PubMedGoogle Scholar
  42. MW, O’Hara, Swain, AM 1996Rates and risk of postpartum depression: A meta-analysisInt Rev Psychiatry83754Google Scholar
  43. Onozawa, K, Kumar, RC, Adams, D, Dore, C, Glover, V 2003High EPDS scores in women from ethnic minorities living in LondonArch Womens Ment Health6S51S55PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Orr, S, James, S, Prince, C 2002Maternal prenatal depressive symptoms and spontaneous preterm births among african-american women in Baltimore, MarylandAm J Epidemiol156797802PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Pajulo, M, Savonlahti, E, Sourander, A, Helenius, H, Piha, J 2001Antenatal depression, substance dependency and social supportJ Affect Disord65917PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Prodromidis, M, Abrams, S, Field, T, Scafidi, F, Rahdert, E 1994Psychosocial stressors among depressed adolescent mothersAdolescence29331343PubMedGoogle Scholar
  47. Rich-Edwards, JW, Kleinman, K, Abrams, A, Harlow, BL, McLaughlin, TJ, Joffe, H, Gillman, MW 2006Sociodemographic predictors of antenatal and postpartum depressive symptoms among women in a medical group practiceJ Epidemiol Community Health60221227PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Ritter, C, Hobfoll, SE, Lavin, J, Cameron, RP, Hulsizer, MR 2000Stress, psychosocial resources, and depressive symptomatology during pregnancy in low-income, inner-city womenHealth Psychol19576585PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Ross, LE, Gilbert Evans, SE, Sellers, EM, Romach, MK 2003Measurement issues in postpartum depression part 1: anxiety as a feature of postpartum depressionArch Womens Ment Health65157PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Seguin, L, Potvin, L, St-Denis, M, Loiselle, J 1995Chronic stressors, social support, and depression during pregnancyObstet Gynecol85563589CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Seimyr, L, Edhborg, M, Lundh, W, Sjogren, B 2004In the shadow of maternal depressed mood: experiences of parenthood during the first year after childbirthJ Psychosom Obstet Gynaecol252334PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Schmidt, RM, Wiemann, CM, Rickert, VI, Smith, EO 2006Moderate to severe depressive symptoms among adolescent mothers followed four years postpartumJ Adolesc Health38712718PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Troutman, BR, Cutrona, CE 1990Nonpsychotic postpartum depression among adolescent mothersJ Abnorm Psychol996978PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Verkerk, GJ, Pop, VJ, Van Son, MJ, Van Heck, GL 2003Prediction of depression in the postpartum period: a longitudinal follow-up study in high-risk and low-risk womenJ Affect Disord77159166PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Zhu, S, Valbo, A 2002Depression and smoking during pregnancyAddict Behav27649658PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Zuckerman, B, Amaro, H, Bauchner, H, Cabral, H 1989Depressive symptoms during pregnancy: Relationship to poor health behavioursAm J Obstet Gynecol16011071111PubMedGoogle Scholar
  57. Zuckerman, B, Bauchner, H, Parker, S, Cabral, H 1990Maternal depressive symptoms during pregnancy, and newborn irritabilityJ Dev Behav Pediatr11190194PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • B. Figueiredo
    • 1
  • A. Pacheco
    • 1
  • R. Costa
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of MinhoBragaPortugal

Personalised recommendations