Date of Conferral





Public Health


Egondu R. Onyejekwe


Postpartum depression affects many postpartum mothers. When postpartum depression is not timely assessed, identified, and treated, it can lead to problems with mother child bonding and cause family problems, negligence, and infant death. The purpose of this phenomenological study was to understand Imo State women's lived experiences and perception on sufficiency of the assessment and treatment received for their postpartum depression. The conceptual theory for this study was the empowerment theory. In-depth, face-to-face interviews were conducted to examine 10 Imo State postpartum mothers' lived experiences of assessment processes and to understand if their psychological desires were addressed. The interviews were audio recorded and notes were taken; the recordings were transcribed, and the transcripts were imported into NVivo9 for the data to be examined. The inductive coding method was used in data coding. The text was used as the source for coding, and the dominant themes were isolated and a range of themes were defined. The themes that appeared from the participants' responses were tearful and anxiety during and after pregnancy, inadequate assessment, stress, lack of knowledge, coping mechanisms, herbalist, and prayer. The participants stated that feelings of unhappiness and sadness increased after delivery of their babies, which were misinterpreted by family and friends. Participants stated that they sought recovery through prayer and herbs. The findings from this study can be used to promote positive social change by enhancing Imo State women's awareness on postpartum depression and also to support health care providers in designing relevant assessments and providing care for women with postpartum depression.