Postpartum depression previously infertile mothers: A meta-ethnography

Academic Article


  • Not much is known about preventing and treating postpartum depression (PPD) in previously infertile mothers (PIM) because of lack of research on PIM with PPD. Yet there are two separate bodies of research on each of these topics, namely, the emotional consequences of infertility and the experience of PPD. This meta-ethnography synthesized the qualitative findings from two separate bodies of literature (infertility and PPD) to arrive at evidence-based inferences that inform the overall care delivered to these women. Online databases and truncated keywords were used to identify sources for this meta-ethnography. Inclusion criteria comprised qualitative, peer-reviewed, databased articles or dissertations published since the year 2000, and seminal articles published before 2000. A total of 14 studies on infertility, 28 studies on PPD, and 1 study of the lived experience of new motherhood in PIM, were used as sources. Noblit and Hare's (1988) approach to meta-ethnography was used to conduct the meta-synthesis. The overlapping themes for infertility and PPD demonstrated that PIM endured a continual assault to their sense of self. Cumulative attacks to their physical and psychosocial beings led to feelings of inadequacy, isolation, and depression. This meta-ethnography produced a schema that will guide prevention, detection, and treatment of PIM with PPD. The importance of formal and informal support systems, as well as vigilant screening for depression throughout the process of infertility treatment and beyond the postpartum period, is underscored.
  • Author List

  • Ladores S
  • Start Page

  • 121
  • End Page

  • 160
  • Volume

  • 9
  • Issue

  • 2