Wajehah Sanders

M.S. Biomedical Data Science

Predictors of Maternal Mental Disease: An Analysis of Perinatal Depression

The World Health Organization (WHO) defines maternal mental health as “a state of well-being in which a mother realizes her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her community” [1]. In the United States, mental health conditions are the most common complications of pregnancy and childbirth, and suicide and overdose combined are the leading cause of death for new mothers [2].  Depression is one of the most common serious complications of pregnancy [3]. According to a 2020 report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, (CDC) 1 in 8 women report symptoms of depression after giving birth. Twenty percent of women were not asked about depression during a prenatal visit and over half of pregnant women with depression were not treated [4].  There is a wide range in prevalence estimates across studies specific to depression in the perinatal period. One meta-analysis of 59 studies reported a prevalence of thirteen percent for postpartum depression [5]. Another review detailed the prevalence of major and minor depression in the United States is 8.5 percent –11 percent during pregnancy and 6.5 percent–12.9 percent during the first postpartum year. The intent of this research is to identify predictors associated with Maternal Mental Health (MMH) in particular, factors associated with maternal depression and anxiety. Data used in this study was sourced from The National Institutes of Health, All of Us Research Program.