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Authors

  1. Beck, Cheryl Tatano DNSc, CNM, FAAN

ABSTRACT

Approximately 13% of new mothers experience postpartum depression. This crippling mood disorder wreaks havoc not only on the mothers themselves but also on their entire families. Between 25% and 50% of mothers with postpartum depression have episodes lasting 6 months or longer. The most significant factor in the duration of the postpartum depression is the length of delay to adequate treatment. The purpose of this article is to describe five different theoretical perspectives of postpartum depression and the interventions for treatment derived from each: the medical model, feminist theory, attachment theory, interpersonal theory, and self-labeling theory. Crucial to clinicians' choice of treatment of postpartum depression is the theoretical lens they use to view this devastating mood disorder. Nursing implications derived from these theoretical perspectives are addressed.