Background/Purpose:The purpose of this paper is to critically analyze the literature in order to determine whether or not cognitive behavioral therapy is an effective intervention in the prevention and/or treatment of postpartum depression. Theoretical Framework: The theoretical framework used for this paper was Cheryl Tantano Beck’s theory, Teetering on the Edge: A Substantive Theory of Postpartum Depression. Beck’s theory was phenomenological study of the lived experiences of women suffering from postpartum depression. Beck identified a four stage process of postpartum depression encompassing a loss of control. The four stages included: (1) Encountering Terror; (2) Dying of Self, (3) Struggling to Survive, and (4) Regaining Control. Methods: Twenty research articles ranging from the years 2001-2018 were critically reviewed with the purpose of determining the efficacy of cognitive behavioral therapy as an intervention for the prevention and/or treatment of postpartum depression. Results/Findings: Seven articles examined cognitive behavioral therapy as a preventative intervention for postpartum depression. Six of the seven articles found cognitive behavioral therapy to be effective in the prevention of postpartum depression. 13 studies examined the efficacy of cognitive behavioral therapy as an intervention in the treatment of postpartum depression. 11 of these studies found cognitive behavioral therapy to be an effective intervention in the treatment of postpartum depression. Implications for Practice: Nurse-midwives are afforded a unique opportunity to care for women during the ante, intra, and postpartum periods. Given the frequency and volume of clinic visits, midwives are often the first provider to assess for, diagnose, and offer treatment options for postpartum depression. Pregnant and/or breastfeeding mothers often prefer non-pharmacologic treatment options for postpartum depression. Given the effectiveness of cognitive behavioral therapy, midwives can offer this as a non-pharmacologic treatment option for women.
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Nelson, L. A. (2018). Cognitive Behavioral Therapy a Treatment for Postpartum Depression [Masterʼs thesis, Bethel University]. Spark Repository. https://spark.bethel.edu/etd/461