Experiences of South African Indian women screened for postpartum depression.
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Postpartum depression is a debilitating condition that has been researched in different populations. A surge in prevalence has been noted in non-western cultures and extremely high prevalence has been recorded in some South African studies. There is a dearth of literature on prevalence or experiences of postpartum depression in South African Indian women. AIMS: This study sought to understand the causes and experiences of South African Indian women potentially suffering from postpartum depression with a view to making recommendations for prevention and care of postpartum depression. METHOD: Low-income South African Indian women were screened for postpartum depression at primary health care clinics at two locations in KwaZulu-Natal. The Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale was used to screen women for postpartum depression. A semi-structured interview was then carried out to determine eight women’s levels of coping. These included individual, interpersonal, community, societal and cultural coping mechanisms and support systems. RESULTS: In line with other studies on postpartum depression, the study revealed that interpersonal issues, abusive relationships, economic hardships and a lack of adequate social support precipitated or aggravated depressive feelings in the postpartum period. CONCLUSION: A number of recommendations for prevention and treatment of postpartum depression were identified and include Routine Screening, Psycho-education, Interpersonal Therapy, Task-shifting to Community Health Workers to aid in prevention and treatment and increased maternity and paternity leave.