The lived experience of postpartum depression as reflected in fabric art




Planden, Hilary Joan

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Postpartum depression affects approximately 13% of women and negatively impacts their partners and children. This interpretive phenomenological study explored the lived experience of postpartum depression. Rich descriptions of four women’s experiences were collected through conversational interviews, a focus group and fabric art. Three themes were identified: cast adrift, torn asunder and safely home. The findings suggested that women experience isolation, loss of identity and loss of sanity. Positive aspects of PPD were also revealed. Implications for nursing practice suggest increased targeted supportive programs for women shown to be at risk for PPD and increased support for all women and their families during the transition to parenthood. Recommendations for future nursing research include attention to fathers’ postpartum experiences and the need for longitudinal studies of women’s PPD experiences. Finally, nurse researchers are encouraged to use artwork as a source of rich data.



experience, postpartum, depression, fabrics, identity