Introduction: Maternal mental health care is an abandoned area, in low and middle income
countries. Priorities are on decreasing infant and maternal mortality, and promoting infant
Puerperium is the period of six weeks after delivery, during which time the mother‟s
reproductive organs adjust to their original non pregnant state. It is a critical stage in the life of a
mother, where the mother experiences many things which includes biological and emotional
Postpartum depression is one of the conditions that a woman suffers within this period. The
condition is characterized by extreme sadness, neglect of personal hygiene, loss of interest in
once environment and suicidal tendencies in some cases. This study was to determine the
perceptions of women in their puerperium on postpartum depression.
Methods: The study adopted a qualitative data collection approach. Four focus group
discussions were held with women who have delivered within six weeks and six in-depth
interviews conducted with health staff, specifically mid wives and medical doctors in the Shai
Osudoku District. The results were analyzed using NVIVO software.
Results: Women in their puerperium were found to have some knowledge on postpartum
depression, however, they did not know the period after birth that the condition occurs. Both
health workers and women interviewed attributed the causes of postpartum depression into
physical, psychological, social and spiritual factors. Participants in the study were of the view that financial problems leading to excessive worrying,
unplanned pregnancy resulting from rape, deformities of a new born, curse by someone, sex
preference of a child and domestic violence were some of the causes of postpartum depression.
The study indicated infection of the mother due to neglect of personal hygiene and malnutrition
of the baby resulting from mother not breast feeding as some of the consequences of postpartum
depression. Also the mother committing suicide and child infanticide was mentioned as
consequences of postpartum depression.
Although health workers admitted that postpartum depression was becoming a common
condition, they did not routinely screen women when they come for postnatal services. The focus
of the health staff was on the physical condition of the mother and child. Attention was paid to
whether the mother was breast feeding well and other general conditions. The psychological
welfare of the mother is often ignored. Participants in the study mentioned that postpartum
depression can negatively affect the health of mother and baby in diverse ways.
There is the need for health workers to intensify education to mothers on postpartum depression
and pay more attention to postpartum depression as it has devastating effects.
CDR, C (2021). Perceptions Of Postpartum Depression Among Women In Their Puerperium In Shai Osudoku District. Afribary.com: Retrieved April 15, 2021, from https://afribary.com/works/perceptions-of-postpartum-depression-among-women-in-their-puerperium-in-shai-osudoku-district
Coalition, CDR. "Perceptions Of Postpartum Depression Among Women In Their Puerperium In Shai Osudoku District" Afribary.com. Afribary.com, 05 Apr. 2021, https://afribary.com/works/perceptions-of-postpartum-depression-among-women-in-their-puerperium-in-shai-osudoku-district . Accessed 15 Apr. 2021.
Coalition, CDR. "Perceptions Of Postpartum Depression Among Women In Their Puerperium In Shai Osudoku District". Afribary.com, Afribary.com, 05 Apr. 2021. Web. 15 Apr. 2021. < https://afribary.com/works/perceptions-of-postpartum-depression-among-women-in-their-puerperium-in-shai-osudoku-district >.
Coalition, CDR. "Perceptions Of Postpartum Depression Among Women In Their Puerperium In Shai Osudoku District" Afribary.com (2021). Accessed April 15, 2021. https://afribary.com/works/perceptions-of-postpartum-depression-among-women-in-their-puerperium-in-shai-osudoku-district