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Postpartum depression, Postnatal, Transcultural, Universal



  1. Goldbort, Joanne MS, RN


Postpartum depression (PPD) strikes about 1 in 10 Western women. Studies of Western women have demonstrated that this emotional experience can occur during pregnancy and/or after delivery, and even in women who adopt an infant. Is PPD a universal experience or a morbid condition that is culture specific to Western/industrialized countries? The purpose of this literature review was to examine other cultures to ascertain whether PPD is a universal experience. The literature describes women throughout the world experiencing degrees of sadness postnatally, which persist up to 1 year. The risk factors for PPD also share similar themes cross-culturally, with one notable exception-the impact that the sex of the infant had on PPD, for a higher value for male children over female offspring was reported in literature from China, Turkey, and India. This literature review demonstrated that, although PPD is an experience that women in all cultures experience, the underlying cause for this malady in non-Western cultures is not attributed to biologic causes, and treatment is not generally based on a Western medical model.