Motherhood appears to be an expected role that most women take on and embrace. This role takes place in the context of the woman s life. For some, the context is the reality of HIV infection and related mental health issues. With the estimated large number of people living with HIV residing in South Africa, attention has also been paid to the prevalence among pregnant women attending antenatal care. In this study, the experience of motherhood for HIV positive mothers showing signs of postpartum depression was explored from a phenomenological point of view. The researcher aimed to understand the mothers perceptions of their role and to understand the factors shaping their experiences. In the findings, it became evident that motherhood is a complex phenomenon. In addition to this, the presence of a medical condition further interplays with the views that the mothers take about themselves and the kind of care they have to provide for their babies. Issues of disclosure were also evident as the mothers fear social judgment. For the mothers issues of mental health are linked closely to HIV illness reactions and the implications thereof for psychological functioning.
Mini Dissertation (MA)--University of Pretoria, 2016.