Background Recently, studies have begun emphasizing paternal involvement during the perinatal period and its impact on maternal health. However, most studies have assessed maternal perception and focused on adolescents or minority groups in Western countries. Therefore, the current study investigated the association between paternal involvement and maternal postnatal depression and anxiety, along with the effects of maternal job status in the Asian society of Taiwan. Methods This study recruited pregnant women in the first trimester of pregnancy as well as their partners on prenatal visits from July 2011 to September 2013 at four selected hospitals in metropolitan areas of Taipei, Taiwan. In total, 593 parental pairs completed the first interview and responded to the follow-up questionnaires until 6 months postpartum. Self-reported data were collected, and multiple logistic regression models were used for analyses. Results Lower paternal childcare and nursing frequency was independently associated with an increased risk of maternal postpartum depression (adjusted odds ratio (OR) =4.33, 95% confidence interval (CI)=1.34–13.98), particularly among unemployed mothers. Furthermore, among unemployed mothers, the risk of postnatal anxiety was 3.14 times higher in couples with fathers spending less time with the child, compared with couples with fathers spending more time (95% CI=1.10–8.98). However, no significant findings were obtained for employed mothers. Conclusions The high prevalence of maternal postnatal emotional disturbances warrants continual consideration. Higher paternal involvement in childcare arrangements should be emphasized to aid in ameliorating these maternal emotional disturbances, particularly among unemployed mothers.
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