To compare the rate of postpartum depression (PPD) during the first COVID-19 lockdown with the rate observed prior to the pandemic, and to examine factors associated with PPD.
This was a prospective study. Women who gave birth during the first COVID-19 lockdown (spring 2020) were offered call-interviews at 10 days and 6–8 weeks postpartum to assess PPD using the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS). Post-traumatic symptoms (Perinatal Post-traumatic Stress Disorder Questionnaire, PPQ), couple adjustment, and interaction and mother-to-infant bonding were also evaluated. The observed PPD rate was compared to the one reported before the pandemic. Factors associated with an increased risk of PPD were studied. The main outcome measures were comparison of the observed PPD rate (EPDS score > 12) to pre-pandemic rate.
Of the 164 women included, 27 (16.5% [95%CI: 11.14–23.04]) presented an EPDS score > 12 either at 10 days or 6–8 weeks postpartum. This rate was similar to the one of 15% reported prior to the pandemic (p = 0.6). Combined EPDS> 12 or PPQ > 6 scores were observed in 20.7% of the mothers [95%CI: 14.8–0.28]. Maternal hypertension/preeclampsia (p = 0.007), emergency cesarean section (p = 0.03), and neonatal complications (p = 0.008) were significantly associated with an EPDS> 12 both in univariate and multivariate analysis (OR = 10 [95%CI: 1.5–68.7], OR = 4.09[95%CI: 1.2–14], OR = 4.02[95%CI: 1.4–11.6], respectively).
The rate of major PPD in our population did not increase during the first lockdown period. However, 20.7% of the women presented with post-traumatic/depressive symptoms.