The British Journal of Psychiatry

Abstract

The Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) was used to rate 217 patients at five days and six weeks post-partum. There was a highly significant positive correlation between the two scores, together with similar symptom profiles. Of the 25 women who suffered post-natal depression (6-week EPDS score greater than or equal to 13), 17 had similar symptoms in the first week post-partum (5-day EPDS score greater than or equal to 10). Low birth weight of the baby, delivery by Caesarean section, a delivery much more difficult than expected, and bottle feeding were all significantly associated with a high EPDS score in the first week post-partum. Bottle feeding and delivery by Caesarean section were the only factors associated with depression at the sixth week. A recollection of low mood after a previous birth was also associated with post-natal depression after the current birth. This, together with an EPDS score of 13 or more at five days post-partum, increased the risk of post-natal depression at six weeks 85-fold.