Post Partum Depression

Topics: Childbirth, Postpartum depression, Attachment theory Pages: 11 (2844 words) Published: June 6, 2013


Postpartum Depression

Lynda J Statson

South Dakota State University College of Nursing


1. Introduction
a. Definition
b. Prevalence
2. Etiology
a. Risk factors
b. Symptoms
i. Emotional
ii. Behavioral
iii. Physical
3. Theoretical Perspectives
a. Medical
b. Attachment
i. Marital issues
c. Interpersonal
4. Consequences
a. Effects on children
5. Screening
6. Treatment
a. Pharmacological
b. Nonpharmacological
7. Nursing implications
8. Conclusion
The purpose of this paper is to discuss Postpartum Depression (PPD). First I will provide a definiton for Postpartum blues (PPB), Postpartum psychosis (PPP) and PPD so that an understanding of the differences can be attained. Then I will talk about the prevalence, etiology, some theories in causation and treatment, consequences and nursing implications in relation to PPD. Finally I will provide a summary of all this information.

How is PPD different from PPB and PPP? The differences are as follows; PPB affects approxiamately 70-80% of new mothers and is self-limiting. Severe PPD and PPP have one thing in common in that both require medical attention in order for the woman to recover. The differences are that PPP is a rare disorder that affects about 0.2% of women and is a medical emergency because the woman is delusional and up to 4% who go untreated wind up killing their babies (Clay, 2004). PPD is can be mild and self-limiting, moderate or severe. Severe PPD requires both pharmacological and non-pharmacological treatment in order for the woman to recover.

PPD occurs in approximately 13% of all new mothers (Beeber, Beck, Lumley 2002, 2002, 2001). This appears to be the norm across most cultures and countries. It is considered the most common medical complication of childbirth (Henshaw, 2000). Having a baby should be a joyful and happy occasion, but PPD takes that away and leaves the woman feeling like she is living in a nightmare and that her only route of escape is to hurt herself (Beck, 2002). Onset of PPD is typically within 3-6 months of childbirth, but acute symptoms can develop right after delivery, and diagnosis with PPD can occur up to one year after giving birth (Clay, 2004). Etiology

There are many different situations and conditions that contribute to PPD. They could be environmental, behavioral, and emotional. The following are some of the common risk factors of PPD (Fishel, 2004):

• Prenatal depression
• Low self-esteem
• Stress of child care
• Prenatal anxiety
• Life stress
• Lack of social support
• Marital relationship problems
• History of depression
• “Difficult” infant temperament
• Single status
• Low socioeconomic status
• Unplanned/unwanted pregnancy (p.973)

According to the National Mental Health Association website (NMHA, 2003), a substance abuse history, financial difficulties, complications during birth, decreased confidence in self as a parent, unhealthy baby, and major life changes are also risk factors of PPD. A study conducted in Sweden by Josefsson et al (2002) found that mothers who had sick leave during pregnancy related to complications of the pregnancy or due to psychiatric disorders were at an increased risk for PPD.

The symptoms of PPD manifest themselves physically, emotionally, and behaviorally. Emotionally a mother who has PPD would be irritable, crying, have a sense of hopelessness, sadness or guilt, moody, feel overwhelmed and unable to cope, afraid of hurting her baby or possibly herself, and fear of being alone (Beeber, 2002). Lack of interest in baby, inadequate self-care, no...

References: Beck, C., T. (2002). Theoretical perspectives of postpartum depression and their
treatment implications
Beeber, L. (2002). The pinks and the blues: Symptoms of chronic depression in
mothers during their children 's first year
Clay, E., C., & Seehusen, D., A. (2004). A review of postpartum depression for
the primary care physician
Davies, B. R., Howells, S., & Jenkins, M. (2003). Early detection and treatment of
postnatal depression in primary care
Dombrowski, M. S., Anderson, G. C., Santoni, C., & Burkhammer, M. (2001).
Fishel, A., H. (2004). Mental health disorders and substance abuse. In D.L. Lowdermilk
& S
Georgiopoulos, A., M., Bryan, T. L., Wollan, P., & Yawn, B., P. (2001). Routine
screening for postpartum depression
Henshaw, C. (2000). Clinical and biological aspects of postpartum blues and
Lumley, J., Austin, M. P. (2001). What interventions may reduce postpartum
National Mental Health Association. (2003). Strengthening families fact sheet.
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