A Study of Marital Satisfaction Among Non-Depressed and Depressed Mothers After Childbirth in Jahrom, Iran, 2014

  •  Marzieh Kargar Jahromi    
  •  Azam Zare    
  •  Mahboobeh Taghizadeganzadeh    
  •  Afifeh Rahmanian Koshkaki    


Introduction: Birth is one of the most wonderful events in nature and pregnancy and delivery are major developments for most married women. Similar to the pregnancy period, the period of time following delivery is accompanied by certain mental and physical changes in women. During this time, mothers experience a full range of mental disorders, varying from minor to psychotic. The objective of this study was to examine marital satisfaction among non-depressed and depressed mothers who visited primary health centers in Jahrom after childbirth in 2014.

Method and Material: This is a descriptive cross-sectional study. The study population consisted of 80 mothers, who were in the 6 to 12 weeks of delivery and had visited primary health centers in Jahrom from April to July, 2014.To select the participants, the researcher looked thorough the files at each center and chose the mothers who were qualified for the study based on convenience sampling. The criteria for participation were: being aged from 20 to 40; being in the 6-12 weeks since delivery; having a healthy newborn; willingness to participate in the study. The participants were divided into the two groups of mothers suffering from postpartum depression (40 women) and mothers not affected by postpartum depression (40 women) on basis of questionnaire. The study follows the ethics in a scientific study. The researcher personally visited the primary health centers and explained the objectives of the study to the participants. Subsequently, the participants were asked to complete a demographic questionnaire, Enrich Marital Satisfaction Scale, and Edinburgh Postpartum Depression Scale. The participants were allowed one hour to complete the questionnaires.

Result: The results showed that the average age of depressed and non-depressed women was respectively 28.1±5 and 29.4±5.5. Regarding the sex of the newborns, 53% of the depressed women had a son and 46.7% had a daughter. In the non-depressed group, 43.3% of the mothers had a son and 56.7% had a daughter. 56.7% of the depressed mothers were first-time mothers; however, 43.3% of the non-depressed mothers had experienced childbirth for the first time.

Most of the women in both groups had a high-school diploma—53% of the depressed mothers and 51% of the non-depressed. 66.7% of the depressed mothers had had natural childbirths; 60% of the non-depressed mothers had had Cesareans. There was not a statistically meaningful difference between the two groups in terms of the demographic variables. The average depression score of the depressed group was 13.7 with a standard deviation of 3.2; the average depression score of the non-depressed group was 5.8 with a standard deviation of 2. There was a statistically significant difference between the two groups in terms of marital satisfaction.

Conclusion: Postpartum depression is a major and common health problem, affects many women after childbirth and inflicts not only direct costs on the health care system, but causes extensive indirect losses due to mothers' inability to function.

Though this condition is prevalent among new mothers, not many researchers have addressed it in small towns and investigated its relationship with marital satisfaction. In addition, most women suffering from postpartum depression know very little about the disorder. Accordingly, it is vital to educate women and conduct more studies on the issue.

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