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Authors

  1. Beck, Cheryl Tatano

Abstract

A phenomenological study was conducted to investigate the meaning of postpartum depressed mothers' interactions with their infants and older children. A purposive sample of 12 mothers participated. Nine theme clusters emerged when the formulated meanings were organized into categories. Participants were overwhelmed by the responsibilities of caring for their children. Guilt, irrational thinking, loss, and anger filled their day-to-day interactions with their children. Mothers went through the motions, acting like robots while caring for their infants. At times, to survive, they erected a wall to separate themselves emotionally from their children and consequently failed to respond to their infants' cues. Detrimental relationships with their older children materialized as mothers were enveloped by postpartum depression.