In Sweden, Postpartum Depression May Be Seasonal

RedTracker| A new study of 2,000 Swedish women with self-reported postpartum depression suggests that the amount of daylight during each season may at least partially trigger the event. This study will not end the debate about seasonablity of childbirth and postpartum depression.

In the Swedish study, women were studied over a 1-year period, self-reporting their psychological states at 5 days, 6 weeks, and 6 months after giving birth. They also reported level of support systems and other medical and lifestyle-related topics.

Out of every 100 mothers, between 6 and 15 reported symptoms of postpartum depression.

After accounting for a variety of factors that could contribute to a new mother’s stress, the authors found that women who gave birth in October through December were about twice as likely to have symptoms of postpartum depression after 6 weeks and 6 months as those who had children in April through June.

Note that the Swedish women live at a high latitude with much greater seasonal changes than in the US. We cannot assume that Swedish results would apply in America. Depression that happens only in fall and winter - known as Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD - has been observed in the general population worldwide, where seasonal changes apply. via Reuters