Postnatal Depression Prevalence and Effects | Free Essay Example

Postnatal Depression Prevalence and Effects

Words: 578
Topic: Health & Medicine


While the birth of a child is generally considered as a happy event in people’s lives, it may sometimes be accompanied by negative issues such as physical or emotional complications of a mother. Postpartum depression (PPD) is a serious psychological disorder that disables the woman to take proper care of the infant due to irritability, anxiety, excessive sadness, and other symptoms. The paper analyzes the prevalence and risk factors of PPD as well as investigates the effect on the newborns whose mothers suffer from this condition.


According to research, about 10-15% of new mothers suffer from PPD (Yim et al. 101). Based on the analysis of comorbidity studies, Yim et al. remark that there is a likelihood of the re-occurrence of PPD with other psychiatric issues having an influence on women after giving birth, such as anxiety disorders (101). Research also indicates that there is a close association between women’s cultural background and their disposition to PPD (Yim et al. 102). Postpartum maternal psychological condition greatly depends on such factors as cultural beliefs related to childbearing, social support, relationships within the family, religious views, and family structure (Yim et al. 102). Therefore, it is highly recommended to focus more research efforts on cultural varieties as they may serve as a key to understanding PPD better and finding solutions to this disorder.

There are several risk factors of PPD, the greatest one being prior to the depression. It is noted that nearly 40% of females with the past experience of depression will have PPD (Brummelte and Galea 154). Other issues that may lead to the development of the disorder are poor support from family, physical complications after giving birth, family history, or low financial status. Women who do not feel encouragement or experience financial difficulties are more likely to develop PPD since they are afraid of the lack of security for themselves and their babies.

One of the major issues concerned with PPD is that it affects not only the woman but also her newborn child (Brummelte and Galea 154). A baby whose mother suffers from PPD does not receive sufficient care during the first weeks or months of life, which is a rather adverse issue. Moreover, it is a frequent occasion that females with PPD refuse to breastfeed, which is considered as a negative outcome for children’s further development by many researchers and healthcare practitioners (Borra et al. 897-898). Infants whose mothers have PPD have difficulty in maturating that is based on the way of communicating between the caregiver and the baby (Brummelte and Galea 154). Therefore, PPD has a number of adverse outcomes not only on women but also on their newborn children. This factor makes the disorder even more severe and necessitates the development of interventions that would help women to cope with their psychological problems.


Postpartum depression is a rather common psychological disorder that has a number of adverse outcomes for women and infants. Researchers note that the disposition towards PPD is largely related to previous experiences and cultural backgrounds. Also, the relationships in the family and financial status of a new mother play a great role. Another problem with PPD is that it affects not only new mothers but also infants that suffer from the lack of care. Specialists are constantly working on ways of mitigating the risk of developing PPD. Also, healthcare specialists use evidence-based practice to create and introduce interventions that might help women to cope with the disorder.

Works Cited

Borra, Christina, et al. “New Evidence on Breastfeeding and Postpartum Depression: The Importance of Understanding Women’s Intentions.” Maternal and Child Health Journal, vol. 19, no. 4, 2015, pp. 897-907.

Brummelte, Suzanne, and Liisa A. M. Galea. “Postpartum Depression: Etiology, Treatment and Consequences for Maternal Care.” Hormones and Behavior, vol. 77, 2016, pp. 153-166.

Yim, Ilona S., et al. “Biological and Psychological Predictors of Postpartum Depression: Systematic Review and Call for Integration.” Annual Review of Clinical Psychology, vol. 11, no. 1, 2015, pp. 99-137.