Prajita Karki

Document Type

Honors Thesis


The impact of cesarean birth (CB) on postpartum depression (PPD) has largely gone unstudied among adolescents. This study aimed to compare the prevalence of PPD between adolescents and adults following a CB. Participants were recruited from two large postpartum units at John Peter Smith (JPS) Hospital in Fort Worth, TX. The study design was a cross-sectional comparative study using secondary analysis of a merged dataset representing two separate studies: Study A, adolescents, and Study B, adults, with infants in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). The resulting dataset provided data for 336 postpartum women ages 13 to 44. To control for depression frequently noted among mothers with NICU admission of an infant, only women with infants in NICU were included resulting in a final sample size of 39 participants, 10 adolescents, and 29 adults was obtained. A researcher-developed form assessed selected, potentially confounding demographic variables to PPD including unplanned pregnancy, age, past trauma, prenatal depression, gestational age, and race-ethnicity. PPD was assessed through the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS). Approximately one-fifth of adolescents and one-third of adults reported a CB. No significant difference was found in EPDS scores between adolescents and adults experiencing CB, t= -.197, df=37, p=.84, with 40% of adolescents (EPDS-Mean= 6.40;) and 41.3% of adults (EPDS-Mean= 6.75) indicating depressive symptoms. Sample size and varying lengths of stay in NICU by adolescents versus adults possibly obscured the true effects of a CB upon PPD, suggesting the need for additional research.

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