Date of Award

11-19-2009

Degree Type

Closed Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)

Department

Public Health

First Advisor

Dr. Frances McCarty - Chair

Second Advisor

Dr. Carol Hoban

Abstract

Postpartum depression is recognized as an important maternal and child health issue. Postpartum depression is the most common perinatal psychiatric disorder and one of the most common complications of childbirth. Studies show prevalence rates in women ranging from 10% to 25%. Postpartum depression affects the emotional wellbeing of mothers, infant behavior, mother-infant bonding, and marital relationships. However, the majority of women who experience postpartum depression do not seek care. The purpose of this analysis is to examine the demographic differences between women in Georgia who report symptoms of postpartum depression but do not seek care, versus women who report postpartum depression symptoms and seek care. Approximately 15% of respondents in this study reported postpartum depression. Of these women, approximately 80% did not seek care for their symptoms. This analysis found that women with the following characteristics were more likely to not seek care for depression: non-White and Hispanic women; women that were uninsured before their pregnancy; women that had their prenatal care paid for by Medicaid or the Military; and women who did not seek care for depression during their pregnancy. The results of this study may help to guide the implementation of public health interventions among postpartum women in Georgia.

Share

COinS