The lived experience and meaning of pregnancy in women with mild to moderate depression
The notion that pregnancy can, for some women, be a time of unhappiness and depression has only recently been recognized in media and by the general public. Researchers and clinicians have begun to study antenatal depression with regards to prevalence, associated factors, and treatment. Most of the research regarding antenatal depression has been quantitative in method. Qualitative inquiry would provide the rich description of women’s lived experience and meaning of antenatal depression. A hermeneutic phenomenological study was conducted with six women who scored 10, 11, or 12 on the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale, indicating mild to moderate symptoms of depression. Participants were interviewed individually regarding their experiences of depression during pregnancy. Data generated in the form of transcripts were analyzed and five themes emerged: disconnection vs. new connection and/or reconnection; loss of identity vs. new identity; fatigue and illness vs. vitality and wellness; anxiety and insecurity vs. confidence and security; and sadness and hopelessness vs. joy and expectation. The overarching shared meaning of these experiences was ambivalence. Findings provided rich, thick descriptions of the lived experience and meaning of antenatal depression. Future research and implications for counselling practice are discussed.
DegreeMaster of Education (M.Ed.)
DepartmentEducational Psychology and Special Education
ProgramEducational Psychology and Special Education
CommitteeBowen, Angela; Downe, Pamela; Muhajarine, Nazeem
Copyright DateAugust 2009
social construction of motherhood