Graduation Date


Document Type

Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science



Department or Program Chair

Andrea Boyle, PhD, FNAP

First Reader

Patricia Harris, PhD, RN


A woman’s life instantly changes after the birth of their child. Furthermore, culture influences the stigma that a mother is the primary caregiver of their children and are accountable for the health and upbringing of the child. Giving birth to a baby and taking up the responsibility of another human life is a great impact in a female’s existence. In addition to the new tasks that come with motherhood, women are also challenged to cope with their emotional and mental state after giving birth. The most chronic mental illness that can develop after labor is postpartum depression (PPD). Women who suffer from PPD are faced with the common symptoms of depression while still trying to uphold their duties as mothers. Since this mental crisis affects a large number of women around the country, it is pivotal to recognize the risk factors that influence the development of postpartum depression. Identifying the root sources of postpartum depression can improve the education, support, and care for these mothers. As healthcare providers, we can enhance the advocacy for mothers suffering from PPD which can improve the lives of the women, their families, and their children. This thesis contains a literature review, summarizing nine recent studies, followed by a proposal for further research.