Midwives' perspectives on perinatal mental health: A qualitative exploratory study in a maternity setting in Karachi, Pakistan

Document Type



School of Nursing and Midwifery, Pakistan


Women experience perinatal mental health problems (PMHP), such as anxiety and depression antenatally and/or postnatally. Among Asian countries, Pakistan has the highest prevalence of postnatal depression ranging from 28% to 63%. This study aimed to explore midwives' perceptions, understanding, thoughts, and feelings regarding perinatal mental health (PMH), as well as experiences and roles in identifying and managing perinatal women cases suffering from PMHP. A qualitative, descriptive, exploratory design was used. The study was conducted at Koohi Goth Hospital. Purposive sampling was used to recruit practicing midwives holding diplomas in midwifery and public health, and with at least two years of experience. Ten participants were recruited. Data were collected by conducting in-depth interviews using a semi-structured interview guide, translated into Urdu. Interviews were audio recorded. Ethics approval was attained by the institutional Ethical Review Committee. Data analysis was done manually by using the content analysis steps described by Creswell. From the analysis, three themes emerged: 1) Dearth of PMH competencies; 2) Importance of PMH; and 3) Myths related to PMH. PMHP undermine mothers' and infants outcomes, thus, midwives should be competent in assessing and managing symptoms in perinatal women to reduce suffering.


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Publication (Name of Journal)

Asian Journal of Psychiatry