Incidence of postpartum depression and couple relationship quality
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Klinika Psychiatrii UM w Białymstoku
Wydział Nauk o Zdrowiu UM w Białymstoku
Submission date: 2015-09-25
Final revision date: 2016-01-14
Acceptance date: 2016-01-25
Publication date: 2016-12-23
Corresponding author
Aleksandra Małus   

Klinika Psychiatrii, Uniwersytet Medyczny w Białymstoku, Plac Brodowicza 1, 16-010 Choroszcz, Polska
Psychiatr Pol 2016;50(6):1135-1146
The childbirth constitutes a significant event in a woman’s life and in the marital/ couple dyad. The changes which follow childbirth require re-organization of previous coping styles and development of new methods of adaptation, which proves difficult. The current study evaluated to what extent the development of postpartum depression symptoms in new mothers was associated with their level of satisfaction in marital relationship.

The study included 100 women in their first month after delivery. The women completed questionnaires regarding postpartum depression (Postpartum Depression Screening Scale) and marital relationship quality (Marital Compatibility Questionnaire).

There was a significant correlation between the level of postpartum depression and relationship quality. A greater severity of postpartum depression symptoms (sleeping/ eating disturbances, anxiety/insecurity, emotional lability, mental confusion, loss of self, guilt/ shame, suicidal thoughts) occurred in women who were less satisfied with their relationship, i.e., those who experienced a decreased level of intimacy, self-fulfillment and partner similarity, as well as a deeper sense of disillusionment. Women who declared deeper satisfaction with their relationship displayed a greater sense of mental well-being. No correlation was found between the occurrence of postpartum depression and socio-demographic factors (age, education level, place of residence) and factors associated with the subjects’ childbearing history (number of children, number of pregnancies, history of miscarriage, family planning, prior diagnosis of depression, type of delivery, newborn’s condition following birth, infant feeding method).

Patients dissatisfied with the quality of their marital relationship experienced an increased severity of postpartum depression symptoms. Greater satisfaction with relationship quality was expressed by women in formalized relationships.

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