Challenges faced by Parents in Coping with Postpartum Depression

Challengesfaced by Parents in Coping with Postpartum Depression


Postpartum depression is a medical condition that sets in soon aftera woman gives birth.The condition can occur in the cause ofpregnancy and proceed to up to one year after childbirth. Even thoughmost women look forward to a happy moment with their newly bornbabies, often they develop mood swings. The feelings can set in fewdays after parturition, and some refer to it as baby blues. The moodswings can lead to transgression into depression if not addressed.Parents experience significant challenges when it comes to dealingwith the birth of a newborn (Haim, Albin-Brooks, Sherer, Mills, &ampLeuner, 2016). The inability to cope with the changes encounteredpredisposes the parents to stressful conditions in taking care of thenewborn.

The depression does not differ from that affecting other people atany stage of life, but it is unique in that it sets in duringpregnancy or after birth. The topic is of critical significance forthe impact it has on women in the society. Women who suffer frompostpartum depression find it difficult to provide care efficientlyto the unborn child making them end up with a guilty conscience ofthemselves (Gress-Smith, Luecken, Lemery-Chalfant, &amp Howe, 2012).The social wellbeing of such women is significantly affected.

The social exchange theory adequately explains the concept ofpostpartum depression. It states that the behavior of a givenindividual is dependent on the rewards that arise from a particularrelationship. For a mother who has just given birth, the ability toefficiently care for the child depends on the approval she gets outof the same.

Postpartum depression is acknowledged in the society as a deterrentfactor to proper care for the newly born child. However, it isaccepted that women undergoing such a situation ought to get supportto help in coping with the stress. Moreover, the stigma associatedwith the condition has resulted in the society encouraging women totake available medication to help in dealing with the problem. Theperception of the society on postpartum depression has changed withtime owing to the number of women determined to suffer from the same(Myers, Aubuchon-Endsley, Bastian, Gierisch, Kemper, Swamy, &ampGreen, 2013). Because of the same, focus has been directed towardcoming up with interventions that seek to deal with the condition tohelp women affected.

Postpartum depression has attracted attention from scholars who haveventured into conducting studies in the field. The externalinfluences have seen efforts that are directed toward gaining anunderstanding of the impacts of postpartum depression and introducemeasures to help women deal with the situation (O’Hara, 2013).

DevelopmentPsychology Stage Rationale

Postpartum depression among women is a result of numerous endocrinealterations that depict the adaptive changes that occur in readinessfor childbirth and nursing. The body’s metabolic system changes inresponse to the maternal stress that arises out of the condition. Thechanges are attributed to the hormonal changes that affect thewoman’s mental health in the postpartum period (O`hara, &ampMcCabe, 2013).

Postpartum depression exposes the particular woman to cognitivevulnerabilities. Various factors are associated with the cognitivechanges that occur due to the postpartum depression. Notably, thereis the aspect of neuroticism, perfectionism, and introversion. Awoman struggles to be a perfect mother to her newly born child. Ifshe does not succeed in her quest to offer the best, she ends up in adistressful state, a move that affects her overall cognitive state.

Socio-economic factors play a fundamental role in progression ordecline of postpartum depression. Women from a low socioeconomicstatus are likely to suffer more from the depression because of thepressure to provide for the newly born child despite the limitedresources at their disposal. Furthermore, the inadequate resourcescould aggravate the situation since the individual woman is incapableof meeting all of the needs of her child.

Postpartum depression has adverse effects on the overall developmentof babies. Depending on the severity and corresponding chronicity ofthe condition, the developmental stage of the child is significantlyaffected. The stressful condition experienced by the parents of theunborn child affects the overall ability to provide the care neededat different developmental stages.

Historyof Topic within Chosen Developmental Stage

Prenatal depression can impact enormously on postpartum depressionaffecting parents. Initially, both parents have to grapple with thethoughts of having a newborn baby and having to care for it afterbirth. Overall, there is an increase in anxiety and uncertainties onwhat is expected to provide care efficiently for the unborn child.The prenatal stage exposes the mother particularly to adverse effectson her mental health especially because she is struggling to copewith the concept of getting a newborn (Zhao, Kane, Wang, Shen, Luo, &ampShi, 2015). The preparations made at the prenatal stage in readinessfor the baby exposes the parents to a significant distressful state.Much focus is on ensuring that the child gets the best irrespectiveof the prevailing circumstances.

Postpartum depression occurs in a series of stages. Some women startexperiencing the condition about one week after parturition.Approximately 10 to 12 days after parturition, women experience babyblues, and it is at this stage that they require reassurance andassistance to help them cope with the chores and overall care of thechild. However, four weeks after parturition the condition manifestsitself and parents facing the same could start experiencing symptomsof the same. Postpartum depression could last to almost a year of thesituation is not addressed promptly (Yim, Stapleton, Guardino,Hahn-Holbrook, &amp Schetter, 2015). Women who fail to get adequatetreatment for the same could experience a low self-esteem but thiscan be overcome with the intervention of professional help.

Significant efforts have been directed towards understandingpostpartum depression. Much focus is on finding out the effects thatit has on the overall development of the child and the well-being ofthe parents. The pathophysiology of the condition has as wellattracted a significant amount of interest from researchers. Thestudies seek to get a deeper understanding of the situation andprovide working interventions against the same.

Changes have been experienced regarding postpartum depression.Cohesion has been reached regarding the most appropriate ways ofdealing with postpartum depression. The agreed strategies in dealingwith the concept differ with those applied in the recent past.Currently, it is decided that seeking professional help to helpaddress the situation is appropriate in helping parents faced by theproblem. Moreover, it is accepted that provision of support is vitalin helping the women deal with the challenges of coping with thechallenges they face providing care for the baby.

Progressionof Topic with Chosen Developmental Stage

Efficient management of postpartum depression continues to be aproblem, especially among women. Despite efforts directed towarddealing with the menace, the outcomes have not been satisfactory.Women continue to suffer because of postpartum depression. The lackof support from their partners and pressure to be the best hashampered the ability to achieve positive results when it comes togetting a solution toward postpartum depression (Dennis, &ampDowswell, 2013). Nevertheless, it is expected that with theapplication of the most appropriate strategies, it would be possibleto help address the situation and help parents learn how to deal withpostpartum depression. Through joint efforts by healthcare providers,family, and friends, it would be possible to address the conditionefficiently and reduce its detrimental effects.

Various factors affect the efforts directed toward getting apermanent solution to the same. For example, stigmatization is anissue since those unable to provide effective parenting encounter alow self-esteem that affects how they discharge their parental roles.However, through support and counseling, it would be possible toaddress the issue of stigma and restore confidence in parents havingthe mandate of taking care of the child (Wisner, Sit, McShea, Rizzo,Zoretich, Hughes, &amp Confer, 2013).


Measures should be adopted that aim at combating the challengesassociated with postpartum depression. The rationale for suchreasoning emanates from the fact that parenting as a role is achallenge by itself. Because of the same, it is essential toeliminate other factors that affect the process of providing care forthe newly born baby.

Findings from studies indicate that women unable to cope withpostpartum depression develop other mental health problems that couldaffect how they conduct their parental roles. Such is a reflection ofthe need to combine efforts aimed at addressing the challengesassociated with postpartum depression.

Researchers can focus on other areas such as the effects of prenatalcounseling on reducing postpartum depression. An understanding of theconcept could help in preparing the women on how to cope with thecondition if it were to set in. It would be an opportunity to enablethe parents to get knowledge on how best to care for the newborn andavoid the likelihood of facing stressful conditions because of thesame. Moreover, researchers can look at aspects of anxiety andadjustment disorders. It would offer insights into how to managedepression that comes with the change in their parenting rolesdespite the challenges associated with the condition.


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Wisner, K. L., Sit, D. K., McShea, M. C., Rizzo, D. M., Zoretich, R.A., Hughes, C. L., … &amp Confer, A. L. (2013). Onset timing,thoughts of self-harm, and diagnoses in postpartum women withscreen-positive depression findings. JAMA psychiatry, 70(5),490-498.7

Yim, I. S., Stapleton, L. R. T., Guardino, C. M., Hahn-Holbrook, J.,&amp Schetter, C. D. (2015). Biological and psychosocial predictorsof postpartum depression: systematic review and call for integration.Clinical Psychology, 11(1), 99.

Zhao, Y., Kane, I., Wang, J., Shen, B., Luo, J., &amp Shi, S.(2015). Combined use of the postpartum depression screening scale(PDSS) and Edinburgh postnatal depression scale (EPDS) to identifyantenatal depression among Chinese pregnant women with obstetriccomplications. Psychiatry research, 226(1), 113-119.