UBC Theses and Dissertations
The influence of certain variables upon the development of postpartum blues Paull, Dorothy Bowden
The purpose of this study was to determine the influence of certain variables upon the development of Postpartum Blues. Questions asked were: Do factors related to maternal role conflict influence the development of Postpartum Blues? Do specific endocrine factors related to the menstrual cycle influence the development of Postpartum Blues? Does a reduction in the number of sleep cycles influence the development of Postpartum Blues? Two semi-structured interview schedules and a questionnaire were constructed following a review of the literature to derive information pertinent to the research problem. The Beck Depression Inventory was also administered. The study population consisted of twenty-nine women. The study population was restricted to women who delivered full-term, apparently healthy infants in one hospital in Vancouver. Certain other criteria of language, demography, health, and obstetrics were applied. Analysis of the data included descriptive analysis, frequency tables, and the use of the chi square test. The findings of the study showed that 70 percent of the women experienced Postpartum Blues. The factors related to maternal role conflict, either singly or in combination, did not significantly influence the development of Postpartum Blues. Nor did the endocrine factors related to the menstrual cycle influence the development of Postpartum Blues. However, it was found that a reduction in sleep cycles over a four-day perinatal period significantly influenced the development of Postpartum Blues. Of the women who experienced a sleep deficiency, 85 percent developed Postpartum Blues. The study suggests that more attention be paid to the sleep needs of postpartum women, both in hospital and at home in the community.
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