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Vitamin D reduces postpartum depression and fatigue among Iranian women

02 December 2018
8 min read
Volume 26 · Issue 12



Depression and fatigue have been recognised as common postpartum morbidities. One of the proposed well established aetiologies is vitamin D deficiency, which is prevalent among Iranian women.


To determine the efficiency of vitamin D supplement on postnatal depression and fatigue.


In this double blind, randomised controlled trial, 80 primiparous women, who scored ≥13 and ≥20 on the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale and the Fatigue Identification Form, respectively, were randomly distributed into the control and intervention groups over 4-10 months following birth. Groups received vitamin D3 1000IU and placebo pills daily for 6 months. Logistic regression tests assessed the relation between variables.


Vitamin D decreased depression scores and fatigue scores in the intervention group (P>0.001).


Considering vitamin D supplements as routine postpartum care among high-risk women would be useful. However, more studies are needed to support this conclusion.

For many women, the days after childbirth are associated with the experience of depression and fatigue (Klainin and Arthur, 2009). Fatigue has characterised by ‘a lack of energy, profound tiredness, muscle weakness and lack of concentration’ (Giallo et al, 2014). Depression is defined as ‘the symptoms of emotional lability, sleep disruption, dysphoria, confusion, significant anxiety, and suicidal ideation’(Zhang et al, 2016).

Up to 70% of women experience fatigue in the first 12 months postpartum (Giallo et al, 2015a; 2015b). The research showed a high level of depression among Asian women, and different studies in Iran have reported rates between 15% and 32% (Mohammad-Alizadeh-Charandabi et al, 2013). A literature review (Klainin and Arthur, 2009) estimated that 3.5–63.3% of mothers would experience depression. These problems not only affect the quality of life but also delay a mother's timely response to her baby's needs (Rouhi et al, 2012; Mohammadi et al, 2015; Giallo et al, 2015a).

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