1 Department of Midwifery and Reproductive Health, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

2 Nutrition Department, School of Public Health, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

3 Department of Basic Sciences, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, IR Iran

4 Midwifery and Reproductive Health Research Center, Department of Midwifery and Reproductive Health, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran


Postpartum weight retention (PPWR) is a factor that causes permanent obesity and subsequent
chronic and noncommunicable diseases. The relationship between depression/stress/anxiety and
PPWR has been studied in some articles, but there is no definitive conclusion in this regard. The
present systematic review was conducted to investigate the relationship between depression/stress/
anxiety and PPWR. An extensive search was performed in the PubMed, Scopus, Embase, Web
of Science, Google Scholar, SID, and Magiran, Irandoc databases using Medical Subject Headings
terms (or their Persian synonyms) from 2000 to 2020. Inclusion and exclusion criteria were used for
articles selection. The quality of the selected articles was assessed using the Newcastle–Ottawa Scale.
Out of 371 reviewed articles, 24 articles were selected. The total sample size was 51,613 (range:
49–37,127). The mean of PPWR ranged from 0.5 kg (standard deviation [SD] = 6.49) to 6.4
kg (SD = 8.5). There was a statistically significant relationship between depression/stress/anxiety
and PPWR in 12 of 23, 4 of 6, and 3 of 8 studies. This review demonstrates the relationship between
depression/stress/anxiety and PPWR. Time of depression/stress/anxiety assessment is an important
issue, as well as different measurement tools. Prevention of the mothers’ psychological problems
through educational and supportive programs may help to limit PPWR.


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