Postpartum Depression Among Somali Women in Norway

Author(s): Astrid Louise LØVLIE ; Ahmed Ali MADAR


Postpartum depression (PPD) has been described as the most common complication experienced postpartum, affecting about 10–15 % of all new mothers. Factors like a history of mental illness, and experienced recent adverse life events has been associated with an increased risk for developing PPD. Immigrant women in Western countries have been found to have a marked higher prevalence of PPD compared to the general population. In Norway the prevalence of PPD in the general population has been found to be around 8–10 %, and among Pakistani immigrants a rate of 7.6 % was found. Somali people in Norway are the second largest immigrant group in Norway with a non-Western background. No study on PPD and associated factors among Somali women has been found in the literature. The aim of the study was to assess PPD and associated factors among Somali women in greater Oslo region, Norway. A cross-sectional survey was conducted; recruiting new mothers through all maternity wards in the Oslo region. Data was collected with interview-administrated questionnaires. PPD was assessed using Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS), defining those scoring ≥10 to have a possible PPD. Of the 80 eligible women identified, 39 (49 %) consented to participate, and completed the study. Of the 39 respondents 3 (7.7 %) were assessed to have a possible PPD. Most important associated factors found were history of mental illness, having experienced technical assistance during delivery, self-rated health and experienced economical problems last 12 months. A low prevalence of PPD was found, and both the prevalence and its associated factors should be interpreted with caution. The associated factors do not have enough power to give any strength to the associations. However, some of the results can be used in develop new hypotheses with regard to PPD among Somali women as immigrants in a Western society.


Postpartum depression, Somali women, Norway, Migrant mental health, Minority mental health 

Tags: Norway, Somalia, Women, Postpartum depression, Pregnancy

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