As a rule, mothers are the primary caregivers of infants regardless of employment or marital status. Thus, any factors that impact mothering affect the infant and have public health significance. National attention is now focused on postpartum depression, a major variable affecting mothering. The impact of postpartum depression on the various components of the maternal role is described. Recommendations for health care practice include screening for depression across the first postpartum year and developing a strong network for mental health referrals.
(c) 2006, AWHONN, the Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses