Dietary patterns during pregnancy and the risk of postpartum depression: The mother-child 'Rhea' cohort in Crete, Greece

Leda Chatzi, Vasiliki Melaki, Katerina Sarri, Ioanna Apostolaki, Theano Roumeliotaki, Vaggelis Georgiou, Maria Vassilaki, Antonis Koutis, Panos Bitsios, Manolis Kogevinas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

84 Scopus citations


Objective: To identify and describe dietary patterns in a cohort of pregnant women, and investigate whether dietary patterns during pregnancy are related to postpartum depression (PPD). Design: The study uses data from the prospective mother-child cohort 'Rhea' study. Pregnant women completed an FFQ in mid-pregnancy and the Edinburg Postpartum Depression Scale (EPDS) at 8-10 weeks postpartum. Dietary patterns during pregnancy ('health conscious', 'Western') were identified using principal component analysis. Associations between dietary patterns categorized in tertiles and PPD symptoms were investigated by multivariable regression models after adjusting for confounders. Setting: Heraklion, Crete, Greece, 2007-2010. Subjects: A total of 529 women, participating in the 'Rhea' cohort. Results: High adherence to a 'health conscious' diet, characterized by vegetables, fruit, pulses, nuts, dairy products, fish and olive oil, was associated with lower EPDS scores (highest v. lowest tertile: β-coefficient = -1·75, P = 0·02). Women in the second (relative risk (RR) = 0·52, 95 % CI 0·30, 0·92) or third tertile (RR = 0·51, 95 % CI 0·25, 1·05) of the 'health conscious' dietary pattern were about 50 % less likely to have high levels of PPD symptoms (EPDS ≥ 13) compared with those in the lowest tertile. Conclusions: This is the first prospective study showing that a healthy diet during pregnancy is associated with reduced risk for PPD. Additional longitudinal studies and trials are needed to confirm these findings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1663-1670
Number of pages8
JournalPublic health nutrition
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2011


  • Antioxidants
  • Dietary patterns
  • Olive oil
  • Postpartum depression

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


Dive into the research topics of 'Dietary patterns during pregnancy and the risk of postpartum depression: The mother-child 'Rhea' cohort in Crete, Greece'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this