Increasing number of women from south-east Asian countries married to Taiwanese men. Immigrant mothers in Taiwan often face birth soon after moving to Taiwan. More studies have identified social support as a crucial protective factor for postpartum depression. However, little is known about the relationships between different domains of social support and postpartum depression trajectory among marriage-based immigrant women in Asia. The aim of this study was to examine the trajectories of depression and social support during the first year postpartum, and predictors for depression, among marriage-based immigrant mothers in Taiwan.
This panel study recruited immigrant mothers to complete structured questionnaire at 1 month, 6 month, and 1 year postpartum during the period from September 2008 to June 2010. There were 203 and 163 immigrant mothers who completed the questionnaire at 1 and 6 month, and 1 year postpartum, respectively. Postpartum depression was measured using the Edinburgh Postpartum Depression Scale. Social support was composed of 3 subscales, emotional, instrumental, and informational support. Hierarchical linear modeling (HLM) was used to examine the relationships between trajectories and factors associated with depression.
Depression and instrumental support followed downward curvelinear trajectory during the first year postpartum; while emotional and informational support followed upward curvelinear trajectory. Emotional and instrumental support negatively covaried with postpartum depression over time. When 3-dimensional support was considered together, only emotional support retained its significance when background variables were adjusted in the model.
Our results demonstrated that depression was highest at 1 month and lowest at 10 month postpartum, though further study may be needed to confirm the trajectory. To decrease postpartum depression among immigrant mothers, strategies should be developed to increase emotional and instrumental support during postpartum period.
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