Document Type

Social Sciences



Submission Date

January 2018


This study examined a mother’s decision-making process in regards to mental health treatment for emotional difficulties during pregnancy and/or in the postpartum period. The literature shows that different factors influence a woman’s ability and willingness to seek services, including demographic factors, cultural factors, and interactions with healthcare providers and acquaintances. A sample of women who experienced emotional difficulties in the perinatal period was recruited through social media. Participants answered an anonymous electronic survey; the quantitative data was analyzed through SPSS, and the qualitative data was aggregated by themes. Quantitative findings indicate that age might be an influencing factor for women deciding to speak to a healthcare provider, but the same was not true for socioeconomic status or having already discussed the matter with an acquaintance. Qualitative answers replicate previous findings that embarrassment and confusion about what is “normal” emotional behavior in the perinatal period are deterrents to seeking treatment.


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