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Postpartum depression, Recovery, Thematic junctures.



  1. Williams, Pamela PhD, RN


Purpose: To describe the experience of women who perceived themselves as having recovered from postpartum depression (PPD).


Study Design: This study was a qualitative, naturalistic inquiry design with in-depth participant interviews.


Method: Nine women who had been medically diagnosed with PPD and self-identified as recovered from PPD served as participants. The method used was the constant comparison of data for discovery of thematic junctures. Women were recruited through their healthcare provider and through the snowball method.


Results: Four thematic junctures were identified during the recovery from PPD: prelude to recovery, igniting recovery, recovery recounted as a victory, and realizing recovery was achieved. Moving through these junctures was an iterative process.


Clinical Implications: The women in this study were able to describe a process of recovery from PPD. This occurred at the time when they were able to identify thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that embodied the acquisition of a successful maternal identity. Knowing this, nurses should support women to achieve their maternal identity and use this knowledge to manage, and recover from, PPD.