Motherhood and Postnatal Depression

Narratives of Women and Their Partners

  • Carolyn Westall
  • Pranee Liamputtong

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xvi
  2. Carolyn Westall, Pranee Liamputtong
    Pages 1-6
  3. Carolyn Westall, Pranee Liamputtong
    Pages 7-22
  4. Carolyn Westall, Pranee Liamputtong
    Pages 23-37
  5. Carolyn Westall, Pranee Liamputtong
    Pages 39-67
  6. Carolyn Westall, Pranee Liamputtong
    Pages 69-100
  7. Carolyn Westall, Pranee Liamputtong
    Pages 123-141
  8. Carolyn Westall, Pranee Liamputtong
    Pages 143-172
  9. Carolyn Westall, Pranee Liamputtong
    Pages 173-178
  10. Back Matter
    Pages 179-199

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.


Relationships Self-esteem childbirth emotional well-being fatherhood maternal sleep deprivation motherhood partners postnatal depression pregnancy psychosocial

Authors and affiliations

  • Carolyn Westall
    • 1
  • Pranee Liamputtong
    • 2
  1. 1.Peace of Mind Parenting Support, ParentiEltham, VictoriaAustralia
  2. 2.School of Public HealthLa Trobe UniversityBundooraAustralia

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011
  • Publisher Name Springer, Dordrecht
  • eBook Packages Medicine
  • Print ISBN 978-94-007-1693-3
  • Online ISBN 978-94-007-1694-0
  • Buy this book on publisher's site