Article Type

Original Study


Objective The aim of this study was to determine the incidence, risk factors, clinical presentation, and complications of postpartum psychiatric disorders and the correlation between psychosocial stressors and postpartum psychiatric disorders. Background Postpartum psychiatric disorders are important factors that affect the quality of life - for example, employment rates, interpersonal and interfamilial communications, maternal skills, and many other social-cognitive functions - in different ways. Patients and methods This study was conducted on 250 women in their postpartum period who were recruited from Kfr El-Zayat General Hospital (Gharbia Governorate); of them, 50 patients fulfilled the Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders, 4th ed., (DSM-IV) criteria of postpartum psychiatric disorders. All participants were evaluated by means of clinical evaluation according to DSM-IV criteria and psychometric evaluation using the Holmes and Rahe Stress Scale, the Quality of Life Scale, the Stress Level Assessment Questionnaire, the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale, and the Global Assessment of Functioning Scale. Results In our study, 50/250 (20%) women fulfilled the DSM-IV criteria for postpartum psychiatric disorders and were classified into the following groups: postpartum blues, 68% (34/50); postpartum depression, 20% (10/50); postpartum panic disorder, 8% (4/50); and postpartum generalized anxiety disorder, 4% (2/50). Conclusion The postpartum period is a critical period during which time women are vulnerable to many postpartum psychiatric disorders. The incidence of postpartum psychiatric disorders in new Egyptian mothers is similar to that in many countries. The most frequent postpartum psychiatric disorder is postpartum blues. Marital, social, and economic factors play a major role in the development of the observed postpartum psychiatric disorders.