Postpartum depression and African American women: The cultural context

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Cultural implications for postpartum depression among African-American women cannot be discussed without first discussing the Western (U.S.) perspective of perinatal mood disorders. The purpose of this chapter is five fold. The first section (Section I) discusses postpartum depression from a Western perspective including discussion of perinatal mood disorders. The second section (Section II) examines the cultural context of postpartum depression including socio-anthropological perspectives of role transition to motherhood and its relationship to postpartum depression. The next section (Section III) discusses measurement of postpartum depression from a Western and non-Western cross-cultural perspective. The fourth section (Section IV) will discuss postpartum depression in African-American women, and the final section (Section V) will present implications for health policy. The goal of this chapter will be to provide a comprehensive overview of postpartum depression based on the literature. The various cultural, social, and anthropological factors that influence the development of this tragic illness will be presented to develop a comprehensive understanding of postpartum depression within the cultural context.

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Black Women's Health: Challenges and Opportunities

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