Postpartum Depression: Methods for the Prevention


Postpartum depression is a pressing clinical problem that affects new mothers, infants, and other family members. According to O’Hara and McCabe (2013), the estimated prevalence of postpartum depression ranges between 13 and 19 percent. There is a variety of risk factors that can affect the development of postpartum depression in females. For instance, psychological factors, such as the past history of postpartum depression and complications during pregnancy can increase the risk for postpartum depression symptoms (Patel et al., 2012).

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Socioeconomic status, the level of income, and the presence of social support are also considered to be among the characteristics leading to a higher possibility of the condition (Patel et al., 2012). Postpartum depression can have a serious adverse effect on the quality of life of new mothers, as well as on the mother-infant relationship and child development, which makes it a major clinical problem (Patel et al., 2012). Numerous studies have sought to determine the treatment for postpartum depression, and many of the proposed methods proved to be successful.

Treatment methods with a high probability of positive dynamics include antidepressant therapy and psychotherapy (Patel et al., 2012). However, given the high socioeconomic costs and the adverse effects of the condition, it would be useful to examine the possibility of using non-therapeutic prevention measures for postpartum depression. Successful reduction of postpartum depression rates using non-therapeutic methods would result in better mother and child outcomes, as well as decrease the costs associated with the treatment of the condition. The research topic for this project is thus “Non-therapeutic methods for the prevention of postpartum depression”.

Research Questions

There are several research questions that should be addressed as part of the research. The three types of non-therapeutic prevention methods that will be examined in the study are physical exercise, education, and massage (Deligiannidis & Freeman, 2014). The four primary research questions that will be addressed in the study are:

  1. What is the share of women who practice physical exercise or receive education and massage therapy during pregnancy?
  2. What is the prevalence and severity of postpartum depression in women who practice physical exercise or receive education and massage therapy during pregnancy?
  3. How are the prevalence and severity of postpartum depression different in women who received non-therapeutic preventive treatment as opposed to those who did not?
  4. Is there a significant difference in the socioeconomic risk factors between women whose level of postpartum depression was lower due to the non-therapeutic measures and those who developed postpartum depression symptoms regardless of the intervention?

These questions provide sufficient depth, thus allowing us to explore the proposed research topic thoroughly. Moreover, the formulation of the questions allows for some flexibility in the study design and methodology, which means that no alterations will be required during the planning and research stages of the project.


Overall, the study will seek to introduce another perspective on the topic of postpartum depression. By exploring non-therapeutic methods, it is possible to ensure that the proposed prevention scheme can be offered to pregnant women and will not pose any health risks or concerns for the mother or the baby. Examining the differences in the socioeconomic risk factors, on the other hand, will help to ensure that the obtained results are valid and represent the effect of the non-therapeutic intervention. Overall, this research can propose a useful guideline for non-therapeutic prevention of postpartum depression, thus offering a new way of combatting this major health issue.


Deligiannidis, K. M., & Freeman, M. P. (2014). Complementary and alternative medicine therapies for perinatal depression. Best Practice & Research Clinical Obstetrics & Gynaecology, 28(1), 85-95.

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O’Hara, M. W., & McCabe, J. E. (2013). Postpartum depression: Current status and future directions. Annual Review of Clinical Psychology, 9(1), 379-407.

Patel, M., Bailey, R. K., Jabeen, S., Ali, S., Barker, N. C., & Osiezagha, K. (2012). Postpartum depression: A review. Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved, 23(2), 534-542.

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