The Social Construction of Postpartum Depression
Gradnitzer McNabb, Nicola
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Postpartum depression (PPD) is a serious mental health condition that affects 5%–60% of women in the days and months after giving birth (Kwee & McBride, 2016; Öksüz, 2021; Shi et al., 2018). PPD not only affects the mother but has health and well-being influences on the infant and other family members (Praetorius et al., 2020; Shi et al., 2018). PPD is experienced worldwide and disproportionately impacts women who do not meet dominant narrative expectations of pregnancy and motherhood (Jackson-Best, 2016; Maji, 2018; Staneva et al., 2017). This literature explores the impact of dominant narratives on women experiencing PPD and how these narratives are shaped by the medical model and neoliberal expectations (Cosgrove & Vaswani, 2020; Kwee & McBride, 2016). Intersectional and assemblage theory are used to explore the impact of these policies on women’s experiences and identities (Chadwick, 2017; Crenshaw, 1991). Additionally, recommendations for practice which incorporate an intersectional and trauma informed care lens are considered (Jackson-Best, 2016; Polmanteer et al., 2019; Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration [SAMHSA], 2014). Lastly, this literature review supports further exploration of intersectional factors of mothers and social institutions and how this can inform care practices for mothers experiencing PPD (Jackson-Best, 2016; Polmanteer et al., 2019).