Racial differences in immediate postpartum depression and suicidal ideation among women in a Midwestern delivery hospital

Karen M. Tabb, Wan Jung Hsieh, Amelia R. Gavin, Mercy Eigbike, Alexandre Faisal-Cury, Syahidatul Khafizah Mohd Hajaraih, Wen Hao David Huang, Heidemarie Laurent, Darius Carter, Nichole Nidey, Kelli Ryckman, Kara Zivin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: This study aims to identify the prevalence of suicidal ideation (SI) and elevated depressive symptoms (depression) in the immediate postpartum period, defined as the first three days after delivery. Methods: This cross-sectional study includes 10,401 women screened for depressive symptoms using the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale immediately after giving birth in a major delivery hospital in Illinois between 2012 and 2016. We used chi-square tests and logistic regression models to compare outcomes across demographic groups in the study. Results: Of the women screened, 709 (7.7%) women had elevated depressive symptoms and 240 (2.3%) reported SI immediate postpartum period. We found significantly different rates of depressive symptoms and suicidal ideation across self-reported racial/ethnic groups. For depression, when compared to White women, Black and Asian women reported higher rates elevated depressive symptoms, but these differences were not significant in the adjusted logistic regression model. For SI, after adjustments, Asian women remained 8.98 times as likely and Black women 2.11 times as likely to report SI compared to their White counterparts. Discussion: Results suggests that elevated depressive symptoms are common among women after giving birth and recovering in the maternity unit. Thus, the maternity unit may play a critical role in early detection of women, but translation into referral, treatment, and follow-up from inpatient to outpatient settings remains to be determined.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100008
JournalJournal of Affective Disorders Reports
StatePublished - Dec 2020


  • Depression
  • EPDS
  • Postpartum
  • Postpartum suicidal ideation
  • Pregnancy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Clinical Psychology


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