Experiences of Women with Postpartum Depression Participating in a Support Group Led by Mental Health Providers

Publication Date

July 2019

Document Type


Publication Title

MCN: The American journal of maternal child nursing







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Purpose: The purpose of this study was to explore experiences of women currently with or at high risk for developing postpartum depression (PPD) who were participating in a postpartum support group facilitated by mental health providers.Study Design and Methods: Using a qualitative design, women ≥18 years of age, who had given birth within the past 2 years, and who were currently attending, or had attended the PPD support group within the past year were invited to participate. The women provided demographic data and participated in a semistructured face-to-face interview. Data were analyzed using qualitative content analysis.Results: Seven women between 27 and 38 years of age participated. Most were married and college educated. At time of the interviews, participants were between 5 months and 2 years postpartum and all reported taking antidepressant medications for their symptoms. Qualitative content analysis revealed three overall themes: attendance, impact, and medication adherence, with associated subthemes.Clinical Implications: Women attending a PPD support group facilitated by mental health providers felt supported, were more likely to disclose their symptoms to other women in the same situation, and were able to share their feelings without fear of judgment. Having concerns about antidepressant medication addressed at each meeting promoted medication adherence. Nurses working with childbearing women should be aware of community support services available for women at risk for developing PPD.


Medication adherence, Postpartum depression, Support group


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