Results of individual studies in which predictors of this crippling mood disorder were investigated have been summarized in four meta-analyses [23-25]. In Beck's  meta-analyses the following risk factors for postpartum depression were significant: prenatal depression, self-esteem, child care stress, life stress, social support, prenatal anxiety, maternity blues, marital satisfaction, history of previous depression, infant temperament, marital status, socioeconomic status, and unplanned/unwanted pregnancy. Prenatal depression was one of the strongest risk factors. O'Hara and Swain's  and Robertson's et al.  metaanalyses corroborated the predictors identified by Beck . The strongest predictors of postpartum depression reported by O'Hara and Swain  were psychopathology history and psychologic disturbance during the prenatal period, poor marital relationship, low social support, and life stressors. In the most recent meta-analysis, Robertson et al.  also reported that the strongest risk factors for developing postpartum depression were prenatal depression, prenatal anxiety, stressful life events, low levels of social support, and a previous history of depression. In a recent study of 4,332 postpartum women, income level, occupational prestige, marital status, and number of children were significant risk factors for postpartum depression . The strongest of these risk factors was income level. Financially poor women were at higher risk for postpartum depression than financially affluent women were.
Research is also revealing that other women at risk for postpartum depression are mothers who have preterm infants, multiple infants, or infants in the neonatal intensive care units [27, 28].
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