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Nursing Research and Practice
Volume 2012, Article ID 181640, 14 pages
Research Article

Daily and Cultural Issues of Postnatal Depression in African Women Immigrants in South East London: Tips for Health Professionals

1Health Visiting, Central North West London Camden Provider Services, London NW6 4DX, UK
2Research in Health and Social Care, University of Greenwich, London SE9 2UG, UK

Received 2 December 2011; Revised 7 March 2012; Accepted 7 August 2012

Academic Editor: Katarina Hjelm

Copyright © 2012 Titilayo Babatunde and Carlos Julio Moreno-Leguizamon. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Postnatal depression has profound effects on the quality of life, social functioning, and economic productivity of women and families. This paper presents the findings of an earlier exploration of the perception of postnatal depression in African women immigrants in South East London. The aims of this research were twofold: firstly, to establish cultural elements related to postnatal depression through women’s narratives regarding their daily life situations, including the nuances and complexities present in postnatal depression, and secondly, to help health professionals understand and acknowledge postnatal depression signs in these immigrant women and some of the cultural ambiguities surrounding them. The study used a qualitative approach mainly through the implementation of two focus groups. Thematic analysis of the women’s narratives suggested that almost half of the participants in the study struggle with some signs of postnatal depression. The women did not perceive the signs as related to illness but as something else in their daily lives, that is, the notion “that you have to get on with it.” The study also highlights the fact that the signs were not identified by health visitors, despite prolonged contact with the women, due to the lack of acknowledgement of women’s silence regarding their emotional struggle, household and family politics, and intercultural communication in health services.