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Motherhood and Postnatal Depression
Narratives of Women and Their Partners
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Main description:

Globally, postnatal depression (PND) is a growing public health problem. PND affects 10 to 15% of women in Western society. It caused by a combination of biological, psychological and social factors. Tw models have attempted to define and explain PND; the biomedical and the sociological models. The traditional biomedical model views PND as a medical condition which implies there is individual pathology and abnormality. Whilst the biomedical model has been the dominant model in treating PND, it has been criticized by feminist sociologists and psychologists for its rigidity in defining and explaining PND. In contrast, the psychosocial model of health acknowledges the biological factors that impact on emotional well-being, but places more emphasis on the personal and social factors that impact on emotional well-being, but places more emphasis on the personal and social factors that contribute to depressive symptoms such as gender, poverty, social disadvantage and social class. The central argument throughout this book is the importance of support before and after the birth for women's emotional well-being. This book will also include women's journeys through pregnancy, childbirth, motherhood, postnatal depression, and resolution. To date, literature has focused on women's lived experiences of PND rather than their personal journeys through pregnancy, childbirth and early motherhood. Additionally, the adjustment to fatherhood has received less attention. For example, little is known about the impact of postnatal depression on the partner, what support partners offer when women with the intention to fill the gap in knowledge of cultural and social issues relating to pregnancy, childbirth, and motherhood for woman who were diagnosed with, and had resolved, PND.


The first book to address the impact of postnatal depression on the partner

Fills the gap in knowledge of cultural and social issues relating to pregnancy, childbirth and motherhood for woman who were diagnosed with, and had resolved, postnatal depression

Back cover:

This book fills the gap in knowledge of cultural and social issues relating to pregnancy, childbirth, and motherhood. The book is based on a study which explored how women and their partners in Melbourne, Australia, understood and resolved postnatal depression (PND). The central argument was the significance of support before and after the birth for women’s emotional well-being. Thirty-three women who experienced PND were individually interviewed, and eighteen partners were either individually interviewed or attended a focus group. Women were asked to draw their experience of PND and its resolution; these drawings were powerful representations of their lived experience and are included in this book. The book highlights the struggles women faced and the amount of support they received from health professionals, family and friends before and after the birth. The partners provided valuable insights about the support they provided to women, their understanding of PND, as well as their own emotional well-being after the birth.    

This book offers much more than previous books: it provides the stories of both the women and their partners and a research method (drawings) that is new in the health and social sciences.

The insights presented in this book can be used to inform and develop programs to identify women who are particularly vulnerable to experiencing PND, or to improve the treatment of the illness to assist other families in their recovery.


Preface - 1.Introduction: From pregnancy to resolution from Postnatal depression - 2. Detection of postnatal depression - 3. Biopsychosocial theories and treatment options for postnatal depression - 4. "Kept in the dark": Childhood, pregnancy and childbirth experiences.- 5. Mothering alone: The adjustment to motherhood. - 6. "Postnatal": Trapped, alone in the dark -Womens's experiences of postnatal depression and drawings - 7. Living with uncertainty: The partner's experiences of Post natal depression- 8. Journeys to resolution - Postscript - Glossary of terms - References - Profiles and demographics of participants -Resources- Index


ISBN-13: 9789400716940
Publisher: Springer (Springer Netherlands)
Publication date: July, 2011
Pages: 216

Subcategories: Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Psychology


Carolyn Westall is a parenting consultant for Peace of Mind Parenting Support which provides assistance to families who are struggling or need additional support with parenting. She is a registered nurse, midwife, and maternal and child health nurse who has facilitated postnatal support groups since 2001. For her PhD, Carolyn interviewed 33 women who resolved postnatal depression, and 18 partners; the research on which this book is based. She has one daughter and one son. Carolyn is passionate about trying to prevent postnatal depression. To follow this passion, Carolyn is setting up a charity, The Sue Evans Charity for Families. Sue was her sister who was tragically lost in the Black Saturday bushfires in Victoria, Australia, along with her brother in-law, Bob O’Sullivan, her nephew Jon LeGassick, and friends, Haydn McMahon and Kaya Mehmedoff, on February 7th, 2009. Sue wanted to help struggling families, particularly women in domestic violence situations and they were going to start a charity together before the bushfires. Sue’s charity will assist families who are struggling, disadvantaged, isolated, or need additional support with the aim of preventing or reducing postnatal depression. Carolyn has published one chapter in a book: Gaining insight into women’s knowing of postnatal depression using drawings (with Marilys Guillemin). In P. Liamputtong and J. Rumbold (Eds). Knowing differently: an introduction to experiential and arts-based research methods. (Nova Science Publishers, 2007). She has also published one journal article about postnatal depression: Childbirth and postnatal depression, Birth Matters (2002). Pranee Liamputtong holds a Personal Chair in Public Health at the School of Public Health, La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia. Pranee has previously taught in the School of Sociology and Anthropology and worked as a public health research fellow at the Centre for the Study of Mothers’ and Children’s Health (now Mothers and Child Health Research), La Trobe University. Pranee’s particular interests include issues related to cultural and social influences on childbearing, childrearing, and women’s reproductive and sexual health. Pranee has two daughters. Pranee has published several books and a large number of papers in these areas. These include: Maternity and Reproductive Health in Asian Societies (with Lenore Manderson, Harwood Academic Press, 1996); Asian Mothers, Western Birth (Ausmed Publications, 1999); Living in a New Country: Understanding Migrants’ Health (Ausmed Publications, 1999); Hmong Women and Reproduction (Bergin & Garvey, 2000); Coming of Age in South and Southeast Asia: Youth, Courtship and Sexuality (with Lenore Manderson, Curzon Press, 2002); Health, Social Change and Communities (with Heather Gardner, Oxford University Press, 2003). Her more recent books include Reproduction, Childbearing and Motherhood: A Cross-Cultural Perspective (Nova Science Publishers, 2007); Childrearing and Infant Care Issues: A Cross-Cultural Perspective (Nova Science Publishers, 2007); The Journey of Becoming a Mother amongst Thai Women in Northern Thailand (Lexington Books, 2007); Population, Community, and Health Promotion (with Sansnee Jirojwong, Oxford University Press, 2008); and Infant Feeding Practices: A Cross-Cultural Perspective (Springer, New York, 2010). Pranee has published several research method books. Her first research method book is titled Qualitative Research Methods: A Health Focus (with Douglas Ezzy, Oxford University Press, 1999, reprinted in 2000, 2001, 2003, 2004); the second edition of this book is titled Qualitative Research Methods (2005, reprinted in 2006, 2007, 2008); and the third edition is authored solely by herself (Qualitative Research Methods, 3rd edition, 2009). Pranee has also published a book on doing qualitative research online: Health Research in Cyberspace: Methodological, Practical and Personal Issues (Nova Science Publishers, 2006). Her new books include Researching the Vulnerable: A Guide to Sensitive Research Methods (Sage, London, 2007); Undertaking Sensitive Research: Managing Boundaries, Emotions and Risk (with Virginia Dickson-Swift and Erica James, Cambridge University Press, 2008); Knowing Differently:Arts-Based and Collaborative Research Methods (with Jean Rumbold, Nova Science Publishers, 2008); Doing Cross-Cultural Research: Ethical and Methodological Issues (Springer, 2008); and Performing Qualitative Cross-Cultural Research (Cambridge University Press, 2010). She is completing Focus Group Methodology: Principles and Practices for Sage, London, which will be published in late 2010.