The effect of maternal mental health during pregnancy on Cesarean section through implications of pre- and postnatal birth have narrowly been investigated. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of maternal mental health during pregnancy on the type of delivery in the suburbs of Bandar Abbas.
This study used data of 200 mothers registered in a prospective cohort study on pregnant women in the suburbs of Bandar Abbas, South of Iran, during 2016-18. The presence of depression, anxiety, or stress in expecting mothers were measured by DASS-21 questionnaire and the outcome defined as having Cesarean section (Cesarean section) was measured at postpartum. The relative risk (95% CI) was calculated using Cox regression models. All analyses were performed using STATA statistical package, with a significance level of 5%.
Information of 196 mothers were collected (98% response rate); the mean age of the participants was 27.28 (±5.62) years. The prevalence of depression, anxiety, and stress was 13.8% (27), 40.4% (40), and 7.6% (15), respectively. Nearly 40% of mothers went through Cesarean section. Compared to mothers with good mental health, the risk of Cesarean section was 96% higher in depressed mothers (RR=2, 95% CI: 1.43–2.74) (p=0.001), 81% higher in anxious mothers (RR=1.81, 95% CI: 1.29-2.53) (p=0.003), and 75% higher in stressed mothers (RR=1.75, 95% CI: 0.86-3.56) (p=0.121).
The findings of this study showed that poor mental health, especially anxiety and depression, during pregnancy could increase the risk of Cesarean section. Accordingly, screening protocols for mental health status and prenatal counseling sessions are suggested for pregnant mothers to increase their informed decision on types of delivery.
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