Medicine Assignment Paper on Anticipatory Guidance- Depression in Women

Anticipatory Guidance- Depression in Women


            The occurrence of postpartum depression in women is global and in all cultures; its incidence ranges from 10 percent to 20 percent. Postpartum stress is a great forecaster of depression and has a significant function in the culturally arbitrated postpartum exposures of first-time mothers and women that have had other pregnancies before. Currently, the majority of postnatal stress researches have chosen quantitative techniques by employing either questionnaires or interviewing participants concerning stressful happenings (Leung, Arthur, & Martinson, 2005). Even though this study demonstrates postpartum stress as associated with postpartum depression, comprehensive depiction of stress encountered by women that have postpartum depression is inadequate. Some qualitative researches have evaluated the encounter of women having postpartum depression but the researches concentrated majorly on the lived encounters of the depression itself. This paper discusses a detailed study of postpartum depression in women.               

Background of the Problem

            Different stress aspects were accounted in this study as statistically important related to depression after delivery. These could encompass family violence, sorrow, and shift to a dissimilar home, substandard living conditions, monetary hardships, and the requirement to look after two or more children with no employment opportunity. Causes of stressful happenings have also been seen in postnatal and antenatal research on women. Zauderer (2009) established a record of fifteen stressful occurrences associated with pregnancy, in addition to the postpartum time. In a research of 220 women, that was carried out antentally, and that was composed of two categories (one in their 1st and 3rd trimesters, and the other in their postpartum time), the respondents were told to write down their stress factors and degree of their stress.

The five most stressful occurrences in the course of postpartum time as stated by the respondents include having a baby that is feeling unwell, an unhappy encounter of delivery, having experienced parturition through caesarean delivery, worry concerning their body shape, and anxiety for the wellbeing of the baby (Leung et al., 2005). Likewise, other researchers have classified stress factors into four groups anchored in a research in the US that involved 90 women in their postpartum period. The four groups of stressors encompass duties (working/schooling, sleeping/resting, modification/ personal requirements, and managing life) and undertakings (childcare, daycare). The other stressors are relationships (spouse, parents), and resources (money).

In a different research, Fenwick, Gamble, Nathan, Bayes, and Hauck (2009) studied postpartum stress amid 500 women in China. The main aspects related to postpartum stress recognized by aspect analysis were satisfying the maternal responsibility, shortage of social backing, and alterations of body image. Even as the reviewed researches assisted in comprehending the sources of postpartum depression in women, all of them neither went past quantitative technique of data analysis nor elucidated the stress factors adequately enough to offer an all-inclusive comprehension of the depression experience. There is thus the need to assess the concerns in detail, applying a qualitative technique of data analysis. It is important to study about postpartum depression in women since women are unwilling to disclose to others that they are sorrowful after delivery. Moreover, although a lot has been written on potential causes, risk aspects, and management of postpartum depression, there are just a few researchers that have embarked on investigating why women take a long time to look for help. Thus, the study about postpartum delivery will offer insights for early recognition and treatment, which are vital to a full convalescence.    

Purpose of the study

Pregnancy, labour, and parturition are possibly the most important life encounters in the experiences of women and their husbands. These are times of tremendous physical and psychological change with strong hormonal, mental, and biological modifications that have an impact on the central nervous system in the case of women. The puerperium could be a period of great susceptibility for women, together with sensations of lack of control (Leung et al., 2005). Remarkable alterations arise in the interpersonal and familial existence of women. Though the birth of a newborn baby could be anticipated to be a jubilant landmark in women’s lives, it is sometimes not the case. A number of women encounter minor change concerns while others face a grave and unbearable mood disorder, postpartum depression.

 Over 50 percent of women with postpartum depression go unnoticed and undiagnosed since the first-time mother could be reluctant to disclose her feelings to the caregiver or close relatives, encompassing her spouse. The first-time mother could be humiliated by her symptoms, or fearful that, if disclosed, she would be institutionalized and detached from her newborn baby. Postpartum depression arises in roughly 15 percent of first-time mothers and is normally identified between 1 and 5 weeks after birth and could last up to a period of two years. Zauderer (2009) defines postpartum depression as an incapacitating mood disorder frequently ignored by healthcare givers and that can lead to women being anxious and confused. The rationale of this study is to shed more light on postpartum depression with respect to its effects and interventions.

Protocol(s) chosen and support for choice

            Home visiting holds a lengthy account in child and family medical services in Australia as an auxiliary to centre-anchored care. However, only in the course of the last twenty years has this program been recognized as successful in its own support for families that have young children thus coinciding with a shift in concentration from supervision and instructing parenting proficiencies, to a more extensive and programmatic advance to backing families with recognized intricate and multiple susceptibilities. By 2002, Tresillian, an early parenting association based in Australia had initiated and executed a Home Visiting Program (HVP) (Leung et al., 2005). The home visiting protocol came from American Psychiatric Association and has offered inventive, non-institutional backing to mothers that have moderate to severe postpartum depression thus winning their support for the program.

The Home Visiting Program is constituted of ten home visits from a child and mother caregiver to the residents of children between 4 and 6 months. The main element of this intervention is the ‘seeing is conceptualizing’ approach that entails taking a short video of mother and baby interrelating for purposes of documentation. The mother and caregiver then assess the interrelation in a practice of shared inquiry. They ponder together concerning the manner in which the baby and the mother are encountering the interaction (Leung et al., 2005). The caregivers assist the mother to recognize her strengths and those of the baby while discovering her baby’s indications and efforts at communication. With the utilization of this insight, they mutually think about the way of enhancing present mother-baby interrelations and prepare the mother to expect and handle future parenting difficulties. The home visiting protocol is strictly anchored in behavioral therapy and is employed in diagnosis of postpartum depression though to some extent is also used in management of the illness. Further elements of the Home Visit Program involvement encompassed loyal counselling, difficulty resolving, recognizing society supports, checking mood and angst, and backing the advancement of parental awareness and proficiencies in baby growth and conduct.                

            Morton and Hsu (2007) studied on the manner in which childbirth educators can develop the curriculum in their teaching with the aim of remaining relevant and holding a new cohort of consumers. Childbirth educators could be healthcare givers like nurses and doctors. This protocol of childbirth educators came from American Psychiatric Association and has been supported by young childbearing couples, and they attend childbirth-teaching lessons with a novel set of eyes. Presently, youthful couples are more technically intelligent and have different choices to education, including the Internet. The majority of the ones that attend childbirth lessons have wider concerns than just knowing the Lamaze manner of respiration since, unlike the home visiting protocol, the protocol of childbirth educators supports the use of antidepressants where required. Childbirth teachers are adjusting their curriculum to back the social, as well as the cultural modifications of the childbearing society and incorporating subjects like postpartum care, newborn care, and the avoidance and recognition of early indications of postpartum depression.     

            Lessons of childbirth give a chance to educate a first-time mother to expect the assistance and backing she may require for the delivery of her newborn baby. According to Zauderer (2009), depression and abuse are not properly being taken care of before childbirth, and limitations exist in recognizing and backing women at risk. In this regard, childbirth educators have suggested the means of bettering communication and backing amid childbirth education lessons’ participants, encompassing upholding communication through electronic mail, sending pictures to one another, and meeting for a get-together. Every one of these methods might assist in keeping the methods of communication unlocked. It is now widely recognized that social segregation, in addition to the strong urge for social backing in the course of the postpartum time, is associated with the advancement of postpartum depression. This paper found the childbirth educators’ protocol best in employing in both the diagnosis and treatment of postpartum depression. 

Research on protocol

            The protocol of childbirth educators is the best in handling postpartum depression since, asZauderer (2009) states, childbearing women require knowledge concerning complications and risks associated with childbirth, encompassing caesarean delivery and epidural anaesthesia just to mention a few. Even if frequently a concealed occurrence of poor health, postpartum depression is understood to be the leading problem in childbirth currently. It is a state of poor health that is frequently unnoticed and normally undisclosed by the mother thus making her to go through it silently. The first-time mother that is depressed is divested of delight and enjoyment of delivery and taking care of her baby. In this regard, childbirth educators have an important function in assisting to break the mother’s silence by first offering the essential knowledge to assist women and their spouses identify the early symptoms and indications of postpartum depression. Secondly, childbirth educators help in enhancing a mother’s comprehension of the ways of satisfying her personal requirements.        

            The use of childbirth educators like nurses and doctors can boost a mother’s overall condition of psychological wellbeing thus possibly curbing or decreasing the encounter of postpartum depression. Even though avoidance of postpartum depression might not be totally possible, healthcare givers can assist in identifying and decreasing the major stress factors. Zauderer (2009) established that a number of interventions, such as offering antenatal lessons, knowledge in the course of antenatal stage, intrapartum backing, early postpartum examination, and persistence of care, might have noteworthy non-pharmacologic precautionary outcomes. Fenwick et al. (2009) carried out their studies to examine outcomes from researches that assessed the association involving avoidance of postpartum depression and selective involvements. Involvements examined included postpartum inquiry, persistence of care during the postpartum phase, teachings during the prenatal stage, early postnatal assessments, assistance at home after childbirth, and social backing in the postnatal stage. A general notion of such researches offers assistance for introducing and examining these issues and precautionary techniques in childbirth education settings.     

            Childbirth education classes are perfect settings since the teacher normally gains the attention of both women and their spouses. The entire topic of childbirth education is supposed to encompass the postnatal phase, in addition to newborn and baby care and anticipations. During childbirth lessons, healthcare givers can as well extend to the first-time fathers; men frequently grumble concerning their not being a fundamental element of the childbirth encounter. In a research that Premberg and Lundgren (2006) carried out, men had a feeling that the knowledge received from childbirth education was not sufficient for their specific requirements. Nevertheless, they as well stated that the lessons not only assisted in preparing them for the labour and delivery experiences, but also offered anticipatory guidance for the anticipation when taking the newborn baby home.   

A first-time mother might be devastated and lack sleep in the course of taking care for her newborn baby. Therefore, it is normally the father (or spouse) who can identify the early indications and symptoms of postpartum depression (Leung et al., 2005). The first-time mother might not wish to disclose having these indications, but the father/spouse can persuade or advise her to go for help when required. In case the father or spouse had learned concerning the early indications of postpartum depression during childbirth lessons, he will be in an excellent position to examine and identify these modifications and persuade the first-time mother to go for help.      

Legal and ethical aspects

            In English common law, healthcare provision devoid of first obtaining a patient’s approval was deemed assault. Moreover, the courts in the US have initiated a requirement affirming that the patient’s approval is informed. The ultimate aspect of informed approval, that patients ought to have availability of the necessary information prior to making their choices, is also critical to the ethical process of treatment (Leung et al., 2005). Ethical concerns that come about in the care of expectant women are tricky to ethicists, doctors, and attorneys. An essential objective of medicine and community is to advance the result of pregnancy. In recent times, some evident efforts to promote this objective have been typified by legal undertakings and strategies aimed at particularly caring for the foetus as a being separate from the mother. Such undertakings and policies, as emphasized in childbirth education, have challenged the rights of expectant mothers to make choices concerning healthcare involvement and have outlawed maternal conduct that is considered related to foetal injury or unfavourable perinatal results.          

Multicultural issues

            Childbirth educators stress that when the health care values of the mother are compromised, it has an impact on the whole family. As part of their childbirth education, the Malay culture embraces conviction in a spirit referred to as Hantu Meroyan that lives within the amniotic fluid and placenta. The dissatisfaction of this spirit results in the mother experiencing regular crying and lack of appetite and sleep. Mothers obtain treatment from a shaman, who carries out a séance to compel the spirits to vamoose (Rossiter, Fowler, McMahon, & Kowalenko, 2012). For Chinese, their women take part in a ritual referred to as “doing the month” where they utilize the first month after delivery resting in bed as the mother/mother-in-law carries out the domestic chores and care for the baby. Moreover, the mother of a newborn baby is not permitted to take a shower, wash her hair, move from the homestead, or stay at the wind.      

            In New Zealand, healthcare providers make sure that care is culturally safe for Maori. In this regard, unsafe caregivers humiliate some ethnic backgrounds while safe caregivers revere other ethnic backgrounds. Cultural beliefs go past getting educated of things like religious requirements of dissimilar ethnic backgrounds, but also entail education on social political issues, age, gender, sexual orientation, and disability/ability (Rossiter et al., 2012). In addition, critics affirm that cultural safety requires inclusion of new and emerging ethnic groups. While cultural safety in theory has been extended to include any individual or group of persons that might differ from the healthcare givers due to social-economic stands, religions, gender, age, ethnic backgrounds, disability/ability, or sexual orientation, in reality the concentration is maintained on the association of Maori and Pakeha instead of immigrants and other ethnic groups.          

Financial aspects

            In case ancestral mothers never received adequate backing from their fathers or other members of their families, they might fail to manage the rearing of the new baby devoid of hurting any existing child, harming their health. Management for postpartum depression falls in the insurance group of psychological wellbeing. Nevertheless, different insurance companies either fail to insure mental illness or offer coverage that is beneath that of physical illness (Rossiter et al., 2012). This leaves the people affected with self-pay program that is not affordable by most low-income individuals. Since cost-benefit reviews have indicated the advantages of parity regulations, statute law to attain parity involving physical and psychological health insurance is vital in tackling this challenge.

            In the case of mothers suffering insufficient social backing or different costly and traumatic conditions, negative sensations towards a newborn baby could create a chance for postpartum depression. Several researches endorse the association involving postpartum depression and deficient social backing and other child stress factors. Mothers that have postpartum depression may involuntarily show signs of fewer constructive feelings and more unconstructive sentiments against their children, are slightly receptive and slightly perceptive to infant indications, slightly psychologically accessible, bear a less triumphant maternal responsibility achievement, and have babies that are insecurely attached. In more severe occurrences, a number of women could have deliberations of harming their babies (Rossiter et al., 2012). In simple terms, the majority of mothers with postpartum depression are suffering different types of cost, such as insufficient social backing, and subsequently may not be caring mothers. In this regard, mothers that are suffering from postpartum depression do not have a psychological illness, but rather cannot manage to show sufficient care to the newborn babies devoid of more social backing and more funding just to mention a few. Thus, treatment ought to concentrate on assisting mothers acquire what they vitally require.                


Depression in women after childbirth emanates from change and alteration socially, mentally, and culturally. Different studies have established that women that have more stressful life occasions in the course of pregnancy and puerperium accounted higher intensities of depressive signs. Cultural variations associated with customs and practices and functions of family members are considered to play a part in lessening postpartum depression (Rossiter et al., 2012). If healthcare givers (acting as childbirth educators) could comprehend the kinds of stress and cultural aspects that affect the psychological fitness of first-time mothers following their delivery, they could be excellently ready to offer care.


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Leung, S., Arthur, D. G., & Martinson, I. (2005). Stress in women with postpartum depression: a phenomenological study. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 51(4), 353-360.

Morton, C. H., & Hsu, C. (2007). Contemporary dilemmas in American childbirth education: Findings from a comparative ethnographic study. The Journal of perinatal education, 16(4), 25.

Premberg, A., & Lundgren, I. (2006). Fathers’ experiences of childbirth education. The journal of perinatal education, 15(2), 21.

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