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An exploration of the experiences of women with postpartum anxiety and the popular culture influences that affect them

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Thesis type
(Thesis) M.A.
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This interpretive study explored the experiences of first-time mothers dealing with anxiety in the postpartum, and what role popular culture and media might play in these experiences. The feminist biographical method was used as a structure for this inquiry. Six women were interviewed about their experiences of anxiety in the transition to motherhood and the ways in which they felt popular culture influenced their conceptions of motherhood. From an analysis of these interviews, six thematic categories were identified: (a) anxiety, (b) expectations of a new mother, (c) issues of support, (d) societal scripts of motherhood, and (e) the transition. Linking these narratives with themes in relevant cultural texts, the following three overarching themes were identified: (a) societal scripts and norms, (b) the work of mothering, and (c) dimensions of distress in the postpartum. Implications for counselling are also discussed.
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