Considering New Approaches: Working with Women and Mental Health During Pregnancy, Childbirth, and Beyond
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This literature review defines and explores mainstream ideas and responses to pre and postpartum depression. Risk factors, both for women and for childhood cognitive, emotional, and social development, are many. In a thorough exploration of the effects of postpartum depression and anxiety on the family, the essays within this study weave in and out of traditional, conventional and alternative treatment approaches. After a comprehensive analysis of postpartum depression, more generalized ecotherapeutic practices are explored, and a new approach to working with women who show symptoms of pre and postpartum depression is proposed. Key findings from the research display that women who experience symptomatology of pre and postpartum depression and anxiety are responding to their socioeconomic and political life circumstances as they transition into motherhood. The suffering is in response to a combination of biological and environmental influences. When explored conventionally, the environmental context is not considered. It is this gap that ecotherapy bridges, helping to support women who respond to disconnection with symptomatology of postpartum depression and anxiety. Ecotherapy offers a valid approach to supporting the healing of the women and their families.