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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Date of Graduation

Fall 2009

Document Type


Degree Name

Educational Specialist (EdS)


Department of Graduate Psychology


This purpose of this paper is to explore the physical, emotional and societal issues women face as they transition to motherhood and the accompanying redefinition of self. Themes of acceptance of new roles and responsibilities, resolution of losses, adjusting marriage/partnership, renegotiation of relationships and professional standing are discussed. Women experiencing postpartum depression and anxiety appear to have difficulty navigating or adapting to the new maternal identity. Therefore, this paper summarizes some of the physical responses of the postpartum period as well as possible puerperal mental disorders such as: postpartum dysphoria (Baby Blues), postpartum depression disorder (PPD), post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and postpartum psychosis (PPP). Implications and recommendations for counselors to consider when assisting this population are also discussed.

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Psychology Commons