An estimated 10 to 15% of new mothers experience symptoms of postpartum depression (PPD), and while it has been estimated that up to 10% of women smoke tobacco during the last 3 months of pregnancy(1), there has been limited research into the effects this behavior has on the development of PPD. To establish if a relationship exists between the two, a literature search of published research studies was completed to gather data for examination. Of the pertinent articles, there were 11 that supported an association between smoking before or during pregnancy and postpartum depression, and the results of these were examined in depth. All studies found some sort of correlation, however not all findings were statistically significant. One of the biggest remaining questions is that of the causality between the relationship. No one has yet been able to establish whether postpartum depression is caused by smoking at any point during a mothers lifetime, or whether having depression is a risk factor for continued smoking.
Swanson, Elizabeth; Scott, Elizabeth; Thomas, Meredith.
Smoking and its effects on postpartum depression..
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