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Intendedness of Pregnancy and Other Predictive Factors for Symptoms of Prenatal Depression in a Population-Based Study

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Abstract

Prenatal depression (PD) as a risk factor for adverse birth outcomes is well documented. Less is known about maternal risks for PD, which could inform preventive strategies for perinatal and interconceptional care. This exploratory study investigates associations between prenatal depression symptoms and unintended and mistimed pregnancies and other maternal risk factors for PD. A subset of birth records from the New York Statewide Perinatal Data System (n = 19,219) was used in this secondary analysis of cross-sectional data. Univariate and multivariate multinomial regression was used to identify factors that are independently associated with four self-reported levels of prenatal depression symptoms. Women with unintended pregnancies were more likely (AOR, 95 % CI) to report severe (3.6, 2.6–5.1) or moderate (2.0, 1.6–2.5) prenatal depression symptoms and less likely to report no symptoms, compared to women with intended pregnancies. Likewise, women with mistimed pregnancies were more likely to report severe (2.7, 2.2–3.5) or moderate (1.7, 1.5–2.1) prenatal depression symptoms than no symptoms, compared to women with intended pregnancies. Low education, drug use, smoking, minority race, being unmarried and having Medicaid insurance were also significant, independent predictors of PD symptoms. Results suggest that routine screening for depression, intendedness of pregnancy and other associated risk factors such as smoking and drug use during prenatal and interconceptional care visits may enable coordinated interventions that can reduce prenatal depression and unintended and mistimed pregnancies and improve pregnancy outcomes.

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Acknowledgments

The authors acknowledge Martha Wojtowycz, PhD, for access to deidentified data from the New York Statewide Perinatal Data System. We also thank Martha and Margaret Formica, PhD, for their thoughtful reviews of earlier versions of this manuscript. Paula Trief, PhD and Ann M Sweet, RN, MS, FNP-C, NPP also provided valuable edits and comments on this manuscript. We are also grateful to the anonymous peer reviewers, all of whom provided detailed, constructive comments that greatly improved our original submission.

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Correspondence to Donald A. Cibula.

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Fellenzer, J.L., Cibula, D.A. Intendedness of Pregnancy and Other Predictive Factors for Symptoms of Prenatal Depression in a Population-Based Study. Matern Child Health J 18, 2426–2436 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10995-014-1481-4

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