The relation of positive emotions to post partum depression
Associate Professor, Department of Midwifery, Alexandreio Technological Educational Institute of Thessaloniki, Greece
Panteio University of Social and Political Sciences, Athens, Greece
Associate Professor, Panteion University of Social and Political Sciences, Athens, Greece
Filia Joanne Garivaldis
Monash University, Melbourne, Australia
Positive emotions have been implicated in the development of coping resources and resilience for psychological health across various significant life events. Childbirth is often an event that incites positive emotions in a woman, and it may be that such emotions have an immobilizing effect on the onset of post natal depressive symptoms. In efforts to examine the influence of positive emotions on women during their transition into motherhood, the present study assessed 195 women across two stages: before and after childbirth. The aim of the study was to examine the variety of positive emotions that arise from childbirth, the relationship of positive emotions that arise from childbirth to maternity and other demographic variables and the relation between positive emotions that arise from childbirth and depressive post natal symptoms. Results revealed a significant manifestation of specific positive emotions such as joyfulness, pride, and interest after childbirth. Participants between the ages of 30 and 34 experienced a greater variety and intensity of positive emotions before and after. In turn, a negative relationship was found between the experience of positive emotion intensity and post natal depressive symptomatology. Factors such as education level, whether the birth was planned or not, and environmental and partner support were found to relate significantly to the manifestation of positive emotions.