Zeitschrift für Depression und Angst

Zeitschrift für Depression und Angst
Offener Zugang

ISSN: 2167-1044


The Lived Experience of Postpartum Depression in Orthodox Jewish Women

Cheryl Zauderer

The purpose of this study was to gain an understanding of postpartum depression as experienced by Orthodox Jewish women. Using a phenomenological approach, a sample of twelve Orthodox Jewish women who had experienced postpartum depression within five years, (with the exception of one participant who had experienced postpartum depression 13 years prior) preceding data collection were interviewed. A diagnosis of postpartum depression had been made by a mental health professional. The women reported common symptoms such as disconnect from reality and having difficulty eating and sleeping. Some of the participants also reported having frightening and suicidal thoughts. The participants expressed the importance of family and community support in relieving their symptoms. The interviewees stated that anti-depressant medications and therapy were most helpful in overcoming their condition. Many-reported feeling a stigma attached to postpartum depression and insufficient awareness in Orthodox Jewish communities. Analysis of the participants’ responses revealed the following themes: (a) Orthodox perceptions of postpartum depression; (b) post-birth support; (c) postpartum depression symptoms; and (d) types of treatment.

Postpartum depression in Orthodox Jewish women is a disorder that negatively affects Orthodox Jewish women and their families. Health care professionals can play a key role in assisting this population of women through proper screening, education and support for the women, their families and the communit