Postpartum Depression in Black Women: Exploring Health Inequity
In Postpartum women, do Black women experience higher rates of postpartum depression when compared to women of other races?
According to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (2021), racial and ethnic minority groups in the US experience higher rates of illness and death across a wide range of health conditions. More succinctly, some scholars have noted that "being Black is bad for your health" (Williams, 2016). Black women are 2 to 3 times as likely to die from a pregnancy-related cause than white women (CDC, 2020). A major maternal concern for Black women is postpartum depression. Postpartum depression affects 1 in 8 women of any race (CDC, 2021). Postpartum depression is a type of depression experienced by the mother after the birth of her child. It is much more severe and lasts longer than the more common “baby blues” (Mayo Clinic, 2018). The purpose of this Evidence-Based Practice review is to shed light on racial disparities that exist among postpartum depression rates of Black women when compared to women of other races. This problem must be recognized before attempting to discuss how to fix this health disparity. Nurses or other healthcare professionals can use this information to become aware of health inequality between races and potential bias in the healthcare system. By illuminating postpartum depression rates in Black women, nurses will have a better understanding of the gaps in healthcare for people of color and will take into practice the importance of screening all women for postpartum depression.