• Anesthesia and analgesia · Aug 2014

    Observational Study

    Epidural Labor Analgesia Is Associated with a Decreased Risk of Postpartum Depression: A Prospective Cohort Study.

    Labour epidural analgesia may be associated with a lower incidence of post-natal depression.

    pearl
    • Ting Ding, Dong-Xin Wang, Yuan Qu, Qian Chen, and Sai-Nan Zhu.
    • From the *Departments of Anesthesiology and Surgical Intensive Care, †Gynecology and Obstetrics, and ‡Biostatistics, Peking University First Hospital, Beijing, China.
    • Anesth. Analg.. 2014 Aug 1;119(2):383-92.

    BackgroundPostpartum depression is a common psychiatric disorder in parturients after delivery. The etiology remains unclear, and multiple factors may be involved. In this study, we investigated whether epidural labor analgesia was associated with a decreased risk of postpartum depression development.MethodsTwo hundred fourteen parturients who were preparing for a vaginal delivery were enrolled in this prospective cohort study. Epidural labor analgesia was performed in 107 of 214 patients on their request. Parturients' mental status was assessed with the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale at 3 days and 6 weeks after delivery. A score of 10 or higher on the scale at 6 weeks was used as an indication of postpartum depression. Parturients' characteristics together with perinatal variables were collected. Multivariate logistic regression analysis was performed to assess an association between the use of epidural analgesia and the occurrence of postpartum depression.ResultsPostpartum depression occurred in 14.0% (15 of 107) of parturients who received epidural labor analgesia and in 34.6% (37 of 107) of those who did not (P < 0.001). Use of epidural labor analgesia was associated with a decreased risk of postpartum depression (odds ratio [OR] 0.31, 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.12-0.82, P = 0.018). Attendance at childbirth classes during pregnancy (OR 0.30, 95% CI, 0.12-0.79, P = 0.015) and continued breast-feeding after delivery (OR 0.02, 95% CI, 0.00-0.07, P < 0.001) were also associated with decreased risks of postpartum depression. A high Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale score at 3 days postpartum was associated with an increased risk of postpartum depression (OR 1.20, 95% CI, 1.05-1.37, P = 0.009).ConclusionsEpidural labor analgesia was associated with a decreased risk of postpartum depression. Further study with a large sample size is needed to evaluate the impact of epidural analgesia on the occurrence of postpartum depression.

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    This article appears in the collection: Does epidural labour analgesia reduce the risk of postpartum depression?.

    Notes

    pearl
    1

    Labour epidural analgesia may be associated with a lower incidence of post-natal depression.

    Daniel Jolley  Daniel Jolley
    summary
    1

    Women who received epidural analgesia during labour had a lower risk of post-natal depression at 6 weeks (OR 0.30), similar to the lowered risk in those who attended childbirth classes (OR 0.30).

    Daniel Jolley  Daniel Jolley
    comment
    0

    The results of the trial should only be considered 'hypothesis forming' rather than practice changing, due to the:

    • Small number of subjects in each arm.
    • Non-randomised, observational nature of the trial.
    • Difficulty generalising these findings to those from different cultural backgrounds.
    Daniel Jolley  Daniel Jolley

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