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Cohort study
Sixteen per cent of women have depression symptoms in the year after childbirth and are more likely to report physical symptoms, including tiredness and back pain
  1. Jane Henderson
  1. National Perinatal Epidemiology Unit, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK
  1. Correspondence to : Ms Jane Henderson, National Perinatal Epidemiology Unit, University of Oxford, New Richards Building, Old Road Campus, Oxford OX3 7LF, UK; jane.henderson{at}

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Implications for practice and research

  • The importance of physical and mental health in the postnatal period has been recognised in this study and in other research.1 ,2

  • Postnatal visiting has declined in the UK and satisfaction with postnatal care is low compared to other aspects of maternity care. Further research should focus on cost-effective strategies to improve this.


Many women experience a range of physical and mental health problems of varying severity and duration following childbirth. The interaction between physical symptoms and mental health has not been extensively researched, although some studies have reported …

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  • Competing interests None.