The effect of postpartum depression on womens' consultations with physicians

Sophia Eilat-Tsanani, Ayelet Meron, Shabtai Romano, Alon Reshef, Idit Lavi, Hava Tabenkin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Background: Postpartum depression is a well-known phenomenon that occurs in about 10% of births and affects the quality of life of the mother as well as the family. As in other cases of depression, under-diagnosis of PPD may keep patients from getting proper care and increase their physical and emotional distress. Objectives: To identify patients with PPD and to describe their consultation patterns with primary care physicians for themselves and their babies. Methods: Using a telephone survey and the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale questionnaire we identified PPD in a sample of women who gave birth in HaEmek Medical Center. We also assessed the extent to which the women consulted with family physicians, gynecologists and/or pediatricians. Results: The survey included 574 women, of whom 9.9% were diagnosed with PPD. There was a higher rate of PPD among Arab compared to Jewish women, among women with a prior history of depression, among women whose pregnancy was unplanned, among those who described the course of pregnancy as "difficult," and among women who described their general health as "not good." Women with PPD consulted more with family physicians and pediatricians. The reasons for the consultations are physical and emotional. There were cases of somatization manifested directly by the mother or indirectly through the baby. Conclusions: Women with PPD have higher consultation rates than those without. By asking a few simple questions it is possible to identify a significant proportion of women with PPD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)406-410
Number of pages5
JournalIsrael Medical Association Journal
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Edinburg Postnatal Depression Scale questionnaire
  • Postpartum depression
  • Primary care


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