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Women’s health and midwifery
Preventing postpartum depression: fatigue management is a place to start
  1. Cindy-Lee Dennis1,2,
  2. Simone Vigod3
  1. 1 Faculty of Nursing, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  2. 2 Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, St. Michael’s Hospital, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  3. 3 Psychiatry, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  1. Correspondence to Professor Cindy-Lee Dennis, Faculty of Nursing, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON M5T 1P8, Canada; cindylee.dennis{at}

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Commentary on: Wilson N, Lee JJ, Bei B. Postpartum fatigue and depression: a systematic review and meta-analysis. J Affect Disord 2019;246:224–33.

Implications for practice and research

  • Fatigue is an under examined and seldom treated condition many women experience postnatally that is highly correlated to depression.

  • Efforts to accurately and consistently measure fatigue are needed for effective detection and management.

  • Fatigue management may be an important strategy to help prevent postpartum depression among vulnerable women.


A positive fatigue–depression correlation among postpartum women suggests a need to develop evidence-based interventions targeting fatigue. These interventions may be less stigmatising than depression treatment and could help prevent postpartum depression.


The purpose of the study1 was to synthesise the relationship between postpartum fatigue and depression among parents in the first 2 years following childbirth. A meta-analysis was conducted on the correlation between fatigue …

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  • Competing interests SV receives royalties from UpToDate for authorship of materials related to depression and pregnancy.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.