Buy this Article for $10.95

Have a coupon or promotional code? Enter it here:

When you buy this you'll get access to the ePub version, a downloadable PDF, and the ability to print the full article.


Community-based participatory research, Depression, Indians, North American, Postpartum, Qualitative research



  1. Heck, Jennifer L. PhD, RNC-NIC, CNE
  2. Wilson, Janet Sullivan PhD, RN
  3. Parker, Judy Goforth PhD, APRN-NP, FACHE


Background: Postpartum depression (PPD) is a devastating mental illness associated with adverse health outcomes for mother, child, and family. Higher PPD prevalence in First American women suggests a racial/ethnic disparity, yet little is known about how PPD is experienced from their perspective.


Purpose: To 1) describe First American women's PPD experiences and the meanings they ascribe to those experiences and 2) describe the cultural knowledge, influences, and practices during the perinatal period.


Study Design and Methods: This phenomenological study used a community-based participatory research approach. Criterion and snowball sampling captured First American women who had PPD now or in the past (N = 8). Interviews used a semistructured guide and thematic analysis followed.


Results: Mean age was 30.25 years. Most women were multigravidas (n = 7) and rated themselves as "very" (n = 4) or "mostly" (n = 3) Native American. Women were mostly of low socioeconomic status and had a history of depression (n = 7) and/or a history of prenatal depression (n = 6). Themes: 1) stressors that contributed to PPD; 2) how PPD made me feel; 3) what made my PPD better; 4) heritage-centered practices; 5) support through PPD; 6) how I felt after PPD; and 7) am I a good mother?


Clinical Implications: This study provides a better understanding of some First American women's PPD experiences that facilitates judgment of the importance of PPD within a cultural context. Clinicians need to create culturally appropriate responses to First American women's PPD needs.