Exploring the experience of care for postpartum depression: a socioecological, qualitative analysis
Mahalik, Anne F
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The birth of a child is considered by many to be among the happiest times in a woman’s life. For many women, however, this experience may be marked by feelings of helplessness, irritability, and being overwhelmed. Approximately 9% of new mothers are reported to suffer from postpartum depression. Left untreated, postpartum depression has been associated with insecure attachment in infants and cognitive and emotional difficulties later in life. This study examined the lived experience of treatment for postpartum depression, from the perspectives of mothers, maternal mental health care providers, and family physicians. This experience was examined through the lens of a five-level socioecological model to provide insight into how various levels of influence play a role in the experience of treatment for postpartum depression. Participants’ experiences were captured through qualitative descriptive inquiry and analysed thematically.