Acceptance and experience of treatment for postnatal depression in a community mental health setting

Health Care Women Int. 2008 Jul;29(6):618-37. doi: 10.1080/07399330802089172.


Our objective in this qualitative study was to investigate the acceptance and experience of treatment for postnatal depression (PND). Fifteen women who had received treatment and support from the community mental health service for PND were interviewed. Interviews were transcribed verbatim and then analyzed using the modified analytic induction method. The majority of women interviewed had reached "crisis point" before they sought and received treatment. The stigma attached to an inability to cope and being a "bad mother" emerged as the main barrier to seeking help earlier. In addition, women were unable to differentiate between "normal" levels of postpartum distress and depressive symptoms that might require intervention. Talking about their distress and experiences, both with health professionals and other mothers, was regarded as of primary importance in the recovery process.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Community Mental Health Services
  • Depression, Postpartum / diagnosis*
  • Depression, Postpartum / psychology
  • Depression, Postpartum / therapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interview, Psychological
  • Life Change Events
  • Maternal Behavior / psychology*
  • Mothers / psychology*
  • New Zealand
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care*
  • Postnatal Care / psychology
  • Pregnancy
  • Self Disclosure
  • Shame
  • Social Support