Poonam-K-SharmaI am a public health nurse and have worked in family health, communicable diseases and most recently in chronic injury and disease prevention. My other passion is centered in women’s health and to this end; I teach prenatal classes as a childbirth educator in the community setting. I am actively involved in my professional organization, the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario (Peel Chapter). My Master’s degree is in Nursing at Ryerson University focused on leadership in education and health policy. My research work uses a Narrative Inquiry approach. I adapted Schwind’s Narrative Reflective Process, which includes creative self-expression through storytelling, metaphor selection and drawing.

Research Abstract: Punjabi immigrant mothers’ experiences of postpartum depression: A narrative inquiry

Postpartum depression can adversely affect not only a woman’s health and well-being, but also the health and development of her infant, as well as her family relationships. Research reveals immigrant women have higher risk factors for postpartum depression. The purpose of this Narrative Inquiry is to give voice, to Punjabi immigrant mothers who have experienced symptoms of postpartum depression. Connelly and Clandinin’s Narrative Inquiry approach was used to explore the experiences of two Punjabi immigrant mothers with self-identified symptoms of postpartum depression. Participants engaged in a narrative interview and an adaptation of the Narrative Reflective Process, a data collection tool that allows creative self-expression and reflection. Womens’ stories were re-constructed and analyzed using Narrative Inquiry’s three levels of justification (personal, practical and social). Findings reveal three key narrative patterns: motherhood, relationships and loneliness, each informed by the narrative thread of immigration. The outcomes of this inquiry suggest that, as healthcare professionals and policy makers, we need to broaden and deepen our understanding of postpartum depression from the immigrant mothers’ perspective, so that we can provide them with a more effective support during this significant time in their lives. Such sensitive and thoughtful care has the ability to improve their well-being and the health of their infant, as well as that of the whole family.