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Short Title

Postpartum Depression

Abstract

The ideals of “good mothering” are constructed by various social policies and institutions. Many mothers from traditionally oppressed groups may find them difficult to achieve. The intersections of multiple forms of oppression create harsh circumstances for mothers from minority groups that can contribute to postpartum depression (PPD). Left untreated, PPD can have long-lasting negative effects on the mothers’ and their children’s well-being. Despite the growing research on PPD that finds striking disparities in prevalence by race, ethnicity, and socio-economic class, virtually all of the research has focused on mothers from privileged backgrounds and none has used a well-established theory to explain PPD among mothers from minority groups. To address this gap in the literature, this article uses Womanism as a theory to examine PPD among low-income mothers of color as a way to help sociologists and social workers take action to address PPD through theory, research, and practice.

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