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Revista médica de Chile

versión impresa ISSN 0034-9887


ROJAS, GRACIELA et al. Characterization of depressed mothers in the postpartum. Rev. méd. Chile [online]. 2010, vol.138, n.5, pp.536-542. ISSN 0034-9887.

Background: Postpartum depression (PPD) is a mood disorder that occurs during a specific period of women’s lifetime: puerperium. The prevalence of PPD ranges from 8% to 30%, and a three-fold increase is seen in emerging as compared to developed countries. Aim: To characterize women consulting in primary care facilities for PPD. Material and Methods: Social and demographic features, obstetrical history, clinical symptoms and puerperal care of 440 postpartum women that sought help in primary care and were diagnosed as depressed, are described. Results: These women had no paid employment (82.7%), had unplanned pregnancies (62.5%) and lacked adequate social support (59.4%). From the clinical viewpoint, most of these puerperal women had a family history of depression (64.2%) and 31% had suffered from previous depressive episodes. The clinical symptoms of these patients consisted of depressed mood (93.2%), anhedonia (87.9%) and fatigue (87%). Conclusions: Women depressed postpartum form a group that requires more clinical attention due to its great biological vulnerability, active depressive symptoms, and enormous psychosocial risk. The mother and child program, which benefits them, needs to be combined with a mental health component that can offer them a treatment adapted to their psychosocial context.

Palabras clave : Depression; Depressive disorder; health care; Postpartum; Primary.

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