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The Factors of Postpartum Depression

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What is it like when becoming a mother? This is a difficult question to answer because it depends on the person who is going through it. Being a mother can be a joyful but stressful as in same time. However, it is life changing. Many women go through different kinds of emotional and physical difficulties due to the new responsibility of taking care of a new life. This responsibility sometimes will lead to moods swing of hopelessness, loneliness, isolation, fearful and other anxiety. All of these symptoms increase the chance of postpartum depression, which eventually gets in a way of one’s ability to care for the newborn and handle day to day life tasks. According to the article becoming a mother with insufficient social support, acculturative stress and antenatal anxiety are some of the major predictive factors causing postpartum depression among U. S. immigrant women of Arabic descent. Beneficial intervation to help with depression is peer social support and non-directive counseling.

Postpartum depression is one of the most common mood disorders associated with childbirth. Postpartum depression is assessed by the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale. One of the factors that lead to depression is acculturative stress. It is an emotional challenge of adapting to a new culture, which has a direct effect on postpartum depression. Mothers who have a high level of acculturative stress are in high chance of becoming depressed. This may be caused by the possibility of a language barrier they face. Another factor of depression is lack of social support. Social support does not have a direct proven correlation with either acculturative stress or postpartum depression, but lack of support can increase the chance of postpartum depression. According to the research, mothers who are new residents to the U. S, have no higher education, are low income; however, having social support from family, friends and spouse place these mothers in low risk for postpartum depression.

Support from spouse, family, and friends can have a huge effect on their recovery because social support works as a stress buffer. The last factor is antenatal. Antenatal anxiety is another causative factor that is caused by low socioeconomic and negative event in life. For a mother who has separated with her newborn because of complication during birth, she has a high chance of anxiety. She has to worry about the money and also, she may have a problem of understanding what is going one which will be more stressful. All this negative experience may also have a delay in her recovery and also my delay mother-baby attachment as well. In newcomer’s postpartum depression has been found the highest compared to the local population this may indicate the need for cultural sensitivity. Because of a cultural norm, many are hesitating to get help and are afraid that they may be judged, so they may not be willing to discuss openly. Especially if someone is present by their side. Based on previously done research on postpartum depression non-directive counseling has shown to be helpful in reducing the symptoms of postpartum depressive. By using, one to one patient-oriented discussion as a nurse I can reassure them that this decision is private and that I am here to listen and see what I can do to help her. To help mothers who are going through this difficult time an intervention of peer support group has also shown in reducing postpartum depression.

A Mother going through the difficulty of adjusting to this new life may lead her to anxiety. Having someone to talk to who is going through or who already went through the same experience as them, can help them see that they are not alone in this. Mothers who are in this supporting group can also share experiences on life, teach each other and be there for one another. So as a nurse I can be an intermediator between them by observing their point of view in regards postpartum depression. Sharing once thought and feeling is not an easy thing to do and if there is a slight feeling of judgment the trusting relationship between the two individual or group will change. They may not speak freely about their problem which will lead them nowhere on getting the right care. Knowing this I can attempt to apply Watson’s theory of “promote and accept both positive and negative feelings” so that they will feel welcome and speak freely. For example, if one mother talked about how one time she blamed her baby for how her life changed because of him (baby), I would recommend her to tell me more why she felt this and try to educate her without hurting her feeling. Lack of social support, acculturative stress, and antenatal anxiety are some of the symptoms that may lead to postpartum depression on Arabic decent immigrant mother.

Given the intervention, having a strong peer support system and talking to someone may help in reducing Postpartum depression. However, screening for a sigh of depression and assessment for their social support earlier in the pregnancy might help further more on reducing stress.

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