Tishra Beeson (Physical Education, School & Public Health)
Reducing Post-Partum Depression through Peer Support Interventions
Post-partum depression occurs in 7-20% of pregnant women in the United States (Patel et. Al, 2012). Many mothers experience depression for the first time while pregnant (APA, 2008). Mothers who experience post-partum depression are 60% more likely to experience it again in subsequent pregnancies (Patel et. Al, 2012). Post-partum depression disproportionately impacts mothers of low socio-economic status, with mothers in poverty experiencing post-partum depression 2-4 times more often than their peers (Hansotte et. Al, 2017).
A literature review was conducted to determine whether peer support interventions are effective tools in managing post-partum depression. It was found that while peer support interventions are effective, there are a variety of barriers that prevent mothers from engaging in peer support, especially for mothers of low socioeconomic status. It was found that utilizing multiple formats for peer support including home visits, internet, and text-based support is crucial to providing access to care for mothers in this digital age.
Many barriers to treatment were noted, including lack of medical insurance coverage, and competing priorities, particularly for mothers of low socioeconomic status. Many mothers cannot prioritize post-partum medical visits due to needing to return to work as soon as possible to maintain adequate housing and necessities such as food and electricity.
Recommendations to improve care for mothers include expanding Medicaid coverage to cover mothers for at least 1-year post-partum and screening for post-partum depression at WIC offices and DSHS to help identify mothers needing additional support.
Hansotte, E., Payne, S. I., & Babich, S. M. (2017). Positive postpartum depression screening practices and subsequent mental health treatment for low-income women in Western countries: A systematic literature review. Public Health Reviews, 38(1). doi:10.1186/s40985-017-0050-y
Patel, M., Bailey, R. K., Jabeen, S., Ali, S., Barker, N. C., & Osiezagha, K. (2012). Postpartum Depression: A Review. Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved, 23(2), 534-542. doi:10.1353/hpu.2012.0037
Postpartum depression. (2008). Retrieved October 31, 2020, from https://www.apa.org/pi/women/resources/reports/postpartum-depression
Keywords: Post-Partum Depression