Archives of Women's Mental Health vol:19 issue:2 pages:337-342
Studies on the impact of childhood trauma on postpartum depression show inconsistencies and methodological limitations. The present study examines the effect of childhood trauma on depression 12 and 24 weeks after childbirth, while controlling for history of depression, depression symptoms during pregnancy and type D personality. During the third trimester of pregnancy, 210 women completed self-report questionnaires assessing depression (current and/or past episodes), childhood trauma and type D personality, of whom 187 participated in the postpartum follow-up, with depression symptoms being reassessed at 12 and 24 weeks after delivery with three depression outcome measures. Eventually, 183 participants were retained for analysis. Results indicated no predictive value of childhood trauma on postpartum depression in the univariate analyses, nor after controlling for previous depression, depression symptoms during pregnancy and type D personality. However, past depression and depression symptoms during pregnancy did independently and convincingly predict postpartum depression, especially at 12 weeks and to a lesser extent at 24 weeks following childbirth. Overall, we found no significant association between childhood trauma and postpartum depression. Past depression and depression symptoms during pregnancy are more relevant factors to assess before childbirth.