Improving Mental Health of New Mothers

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Call for participants in mothers’ mental health study

The School of Sport Science, Exercise and Health at The University of Western Australia, is currently seeking healthy 1st time mothers, who are between 30-38 weeks pregnant, to complete a series of online surveys once every three weeks until 6-months postpartum. The surveys will focus on feelings toward being a mother, stress, any depression symptoms, and physical activity levels. The surveys will take under 5 minutes to complete and all responses will be anonymous. Involvement in the study will allow participants the chance to monitor their mental health, and overall results from the study might help future mums cope with the demands of early motherhood.

This study is conducted by PhD candidate Brian Law, as part of his doctoral research in the UWA School of Sports Science, Exercise and Health.

“Improving mental health of new mothers is a critical issue that needs to be addressed. Poor mental health can lead to illness such as Postnatal Depression (PND). A report by the Post and Antenatal Depression Association Inc. (PANDA; 2012), indicates that PND has a prevalence rate of 15.7% and costs the country approximately $60.7 million. If we can help to reduce the prevalence rate of PND and other disorders by improving mothers’ mental health, it will not only benefit the well-being of the mothers themselves. It also means that the money spent by the government, can be redirected to other things such as more medical subsidies or improving other areas of healthcare.”

“Consequences of poor mental health do not only impact mothers’ themselves. When the mother is not doing well, it can have collateral impact on her family as well. Poor mental health in mothers can lead to having a poor relationship with her child, and can lead to developmental issues for the child.”

“I am very keen to look at how we can improve mothers’ mental health during this important period of time. This study will help us to identify how mental changes take place during this period, and is the first step to developing a program to promote better mental health in new mothers. If the program that we develop improves mothers’ mental health and leads to a better family environment, that would be the greatest reward for following this line of research.”

This research is conducted under the supervision of Dr James Dimmock, Dr Ben Jackson and Dr Kym Guelfi, and has the UWA Human Research Ethics Committee approval (project number RA/4/1/7515).

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To participate or find more information, please contact Brian Law.

Address:        School of Sport Science, Exercise and Health (M408)
The University of Western Australia

35 Stirling Highway
Crawley Perth
Western Australia 6009

Tel: +61 4 0343 8811



For more information on the mothers’ mental health study, see the recruitment flyer.

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Date Created: August 21, 2015