About this book
This book fills the gap in knowledge of cultural and social issues relating to pregnancy, childbirth, and motherhood. The book is based on a study which explored how women and their partners in Melbourne, Australia, understood and resolved postnatal depression (PND). The central argument was the significance of support before and after the birth for women’s emotional well-being. Thirty-three women who experienced PND were individually interviewed, and eighteen partners were either individually interviewed or attended a focus group. Women were asked to draw their experience of PND and its resolution; these drawings were powerful representations of their lived experience and are included in this book. The book highlights the struggles women faced and the amount of support they received from health professionals, family and friends before and after the birth. The partners provided valuable insights about the support they provided to women, their understanding of PND, as well as their own emotional well-being after the birth.
This book offers much more than previous books: it provides the stories of both the women and their partners and a research method (drawings) that is new in the health and social sciences.
The insights presented in this book can be used to inform and develop programs to identify women who are particularly vulnerable to experiencing PND, or to improve the treatment of the illness to assist other families in their recovery.