Childbirth pain and post-partum depression: Does labor epidural analgesia decrease this risk?

Daniele C. Parise, Caitlin Gilman, Matthew A. Petrilli, Dolores Malaspina

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Post-partum depression (PPD) is a common complication of pregnancy world-wide with a prevalence as high as 15% in some countries. Pain has been identified as a risk factor for major depression; however, the relationship between labor-related pain and PPD is less understood. This article sought out to examine the relationship between pain and PPD, examining whether there is a correlation that reducing pain through epidural analgesia can lower the risk for PPD. A PubMed database search was performed using the keywords “post-partum depression” and “labor epidural”. Multiple articles including 2 meta-analyses were evaluated for the association between post-partum depression and epidural analgesia for labor. Although there is evidence supporting labor epidural analgesia reducing PPD, many studies including the meta-analyses did not uphold the hypothesis. More well-designed studies on this topic need to be investigated in order to substantiate the current evidence in the literature.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1925-1933
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Pain Research
StatePublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Consult liason psychiatry
  • Labor epidural
  • Labor pain
  • Pain management
  • Post-partum depression
  • Reproductive psychiatry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Childbirth pain and post-partum depression: Does labor epidural analgesia decrease this risk?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this