Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario

Nursing Best Practice Guidelines

Other Risk Factor for Postpartum Depression Resource Sheet

Although all women are susceptible to developing depression following childbirth, women who have one or more of the following factors have a significantly increased risk of experiencing postpartum depression.

Strong to Moderate Risk:

  • Depression during pregnancy.
  • Anxiety during pregnancy.
  • Stressful recent life events.
  • Lack of social support (either perceived or received).
  • Previous history of depression.

Moderate Risk:

  • High levels of childcare stress.
  • Low self-esteem.
  • Neuroticism.
  • Difficult infant temperment.

Small Risk:

  • Obstetric and pregnancy complications.
  • Cognitive attributions.
  • Quality of relationship with partner.
  • Socioeconomic status.

No effect:

  • Ethnicity.
  • Maternal age.
  • Level of education.
  • Parity.
  • Gender of child (within Western societies).