The Importance of Listening to Women

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By: Alyssa Ham, ; Deborah Billings, PhD; Filipa deCastro, PhD; Jean Marie Simms Place, PhD

Medical systems have historically devalued women’s experience with illness, often resulting in diagnoses and treatments that are not appropriate or relevant for women’s lives. Postpartum depression is no exception. One way to design more responsive health services is to thoughtfully listen to the experiences of women who are in a position to offer deep information about their disorder. We know that in Mexico, just under 20% of women experience depressive symptoms within the first five years of giving birth. What do the women themselves have to say about their experience of postpartum depression? What words do they use to talk about it? What are the problems it causes for them and what are their strategies for recovery? This is what we wanted to know and so we set out to listen to women… read more