Anxiety and depression in women and men from early pregnancy to 3-months postpartum

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Abstract

To investigate high-anxiety and depression in women and men from early pregnancy to 3-months postpartum, 260 Portuguese couples (N = 520) filled in the State-Anxiety Inventory (STAI-S) and the Edinburgh Post-Natal Depression Scale (EPDS) at the first, second, and third pregnancy trimesters, childbirth, and 3-months postpartum. Rates for high-anxiety (STAI-S ≥ 45) in women (13.1%; 12.2%; 18.2%; 18.6%; 4.7%) and men (10.1%; 8.0%, 7.8%; 8.5%; 4.4%) and for depression (EPDS ≥ 10) in women (20.0%, 19.6%, 17.4%, 17.6%; 11.1%) and men (11.3%; 6.6%; 5.5%; 7.5%; 7.2%) were high. Rates for depression were higher than rates for high-anxiety only in women during early pregnancy and the postpartum, but not at the third pregnancy trimester and childbirth. Rates for high-anxiety and depression were higher in women than in men during pregnancy/childbirth, but not at 3-months postpartum. Rates for high-anxiety but not rates for depression were higher during pregnancy/childbirth compared to 3-months postpartum and only in women. Considering that 15.9% of the parents-to-be were highly anxious and/or depressed during pregnancy—comparing to 9.3% at 3-months postpartum—particular attention should be drawn to both women's and men's mental health early in pregnancy.

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