Relationship between Violence during Pregnancy and Postpartum Depression


M Dolatian 1 , * , K Hesami 2 , J Shams 3 , H Alavi Majd 3

1 College of Nursing and Midwifery, Shaheed Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, [email protected], Tehran, Iran

2 Master of Midwifery, Kurdistan University of Medical Sciences, Iran

3 Department of Psychiatry, Behavioral Research Center, Shaheed Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

How to Cite: Dolatian M, Hesami K, Shams J, Alavi Majd H. Relationship between Violence during Pregnancy and Postpartum Depression, Iran Red Crescent Med J. Online ahead of Print ; 12(4):377-383.


Iranian Red Crescent Medical Journal: 12 (4); 377-383
Article Type: Research Article
Received: July 10, 2009
Accepted: December 21, 2009




Background: Due to the lack of evidence in relation to violence against pregnant women, particularly in developing countries, this study was conducted to determine the relationship between violence during pregnancy and postpartum depression in Marivan, western Iran.


Methods: 240 women between 15 and 40 years at the last month of their pregnancy were selected and divided into two groups: those experiencing violence and those without and matched for age, education, occupation of their own and their husbands’, income, marital status, parity and desired or unwanted pregnancy. They were followed 2 to 6 weeks after delivery. Participants were Iranian Kurd, literate and singleton with no known pregnancy complications and depressive disorder in their lifespan. Demographic and obstetrical characteristics, Edinburg’s postpartum depression, violence in three domains of physical, sexual, and emotional were recorded in a questionnaire.


Results: Mean age of subjects was 26.02±5.53 years mostly in primary educational level and were housewives. The scores of Edinburg’s questionnaire ranged from 0 to 27 (8.25±6.82) and 34.2% (82 women) of them obtained score 10 or more. The frequency of postpartum depression was 52.5% and 15.8% in women experiencing violence and those without, respectively. A significant relationship was found between domestic violence and postpartum depression (p<0.001) and the estimation of relative risk of depression with 95% confidence interval was between 2.1 and 5.1 (RR=3.3).


Conclusion: Based on adverse effects of violence during pregnancy in this study, a routine screening at perinatal clinics is suggested to identify at-risk cases and provide necessary health services.


Violence Sexual violence Emotional violence Pregnancy Postpartum depression

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