“You’ve Got the House, You’ve Got a Lovely Baby, What Are You Upset About?”: The Influence of Mothers’ Perceived Entitlement to Have Postnatal Depression on the Process of Disclosure
Studies showing the impact of maternal depression on the mother, infant and wider family have highlighted the importance of mothers feeling able and entitled to disclose postnatal depression (PND) and seek support from others. This paper reports a subset of findings from an interpretative phenomenological analysis of five women interviewed about their experiences of disclosing symptoms of postnatal depression. The findings extend the literature on in vitro fertilisation (IVF) and PND by identifying that perceived entitlement to have PND or seek support can influence the disclosure process. Entitlement appeared to be influenced by the women's own personal contextual factors, including financial status and lifestyles, having children who slept well, partner support and having successful IVF treatment. The findings have clinical implications for health professionals who have regular contact with women in the antenatal and postnatal periods by creating safe contexts to address their beliefs about PND, facilitating disclosure and implementing intervention more promptly.