• IGO J


Stress, Social Support, Postpartum Depression, Nursing Mothers


Postpartum depression continues to become one of the major maternal health challenges across the globe though with a paucity of recent data on its magnitude in Africa. Postpartum depression is characterized by loss of interest in usual events, sleep challenges, feelings of sadness, fatigability, problems of appetite, and difficulty in coping with daily activities. This study therefore investigated Stress and Social support as correlates of postpartum depression among nursing mothers in Makurdi local government area of Benue State. Correlational survey design was used. The researchers used purposive sampling technique to select 195 women across different hospitals and family support program centres in Makurdi local government using sample size determination of creative resource system. Participant’s age ranged from 20 – 40 years of age. The following instruments were used for data collection Stress Scale, Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support and Edinburgh Postpartum Depression Scale. Three hypotheses were tested. Hypotheses one and two wesre tested using Pearson product moment correlation while hypothesis three was tested with Multiple Regression Analysis. The result from the stated hypotheses showed that there was a significant positive relationship between stress and postpartum depression among nursing mothers in Makurdi local government area [r (193) = .226; p<.001]. On the other hand, there was a significant negative relationship between social support and postpartum depression among nursing mothers in Makurdi local government area [r (193) = -.398; p<.001]. Furthermore, the result showed that there was a significant joint prediction of stress and social support on postpartum depression among nursing mothers in Makurdi local government area of Benue State [R = .407 and R2 = .166; F (3, 191) = 12.637; p<.001]. It was therefore recommended that the scientific community particularly psychologists and other health care providers who have daily encounter with postpartum women should note that stress among nursing mother is a risk factor for postpartum depression and therefore should be avoided and social support should be enhanced.


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