Background: Antenatal depression is often neglected and unrecognized. It is known to
be associated with various unwanted outcomes for both mothers and babies.
Objective: This study aims to assess the prevalence of a positive screen for antenatal depression and
its risk factors as well as the labour and neonatal outcomes.
Method: 265 pregnant women who received care from University Malaya Medical Centre were
recruited in this study. They completed the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) questionnaires
twice; once during the antenatal period and once again during the postnatal period. Only
235 out of 265 data were analysed for the association between risk factors, labour and neonatal
outcome. Postnatal data that were collected after 4-6 weeks of delivery were completed in 90
Results: 41 women (17%) were found to have a positive screen and it has a significant positive
correlation with postnatal EDPS score (r=0.919, p=0.00). After adjustment for confounders, preexisting
medical illness is the only risk factor found to be associated with the positive screen group
(OR 3.0, 95% CI1.11-8.46). The positive screen group is also associated with reduced neonatal
birth weight (0R=0.998; 95%CI0.997-0.999), reduced cord pH (OR=0.000; 95%CI0.000-0.202) and
increased blood loss at birth (0R=1.005; 95%CI1.001-1.009).
Conclusion: The positive screen group of antenatal depression is associated with few adverse pregnancy
and neonatal outcomes. Therefore, a formal mental health assessment should be offered to all
pregnant women who are found to have a positive screen of antenatal depression.