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March, 2015
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The primary goal of this paper is to provide a theoretical understanding of postpartum depression that captures multiple aspects of a woman’s life during pregnancy and postpartum.


Abstract: The primary goal of this paper is to provide a theoretical understanding of postpartum depression that captures multiple aspects of a woman’s life during pregnancy and postpartum. Recent literature cites the couple’s relationship as playing an important role in the antenatal period. This paper offers a unique perspective. Family systems theory is employed to inform the conceptualization of postpartum depression and also to guide clinicians, women and family’s understanding of this disorder from a relational perspective. Specifically, a family system perspective connects relational risk and protection to postpartum depression and offers practical implications for clinicians and families.


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