A 2015 study by MCRI researchers showed that mothers need to have time out – as little as once a week – to improve their mental health.
But what do mothers do when they want to relax?
The findings from the Healthy Mothers Healthy Families team showed the five most common things women did when they had time for themselves were:
The research from the Maternal Health Study found that only one in two new mothers reported having time for themselves each week when someone else looked after their baby. One in six women stated that they never had time for themselves.
Over 1500 first time mothers are taking part in the study. At six months postpartum, almost one in 10 women reported depressive symptoms indicative of major clinical depression. Women who had time for themselves once a week or more were less likely to report depressive symptoms, compared to women who reported less frequent time for themselves.
“Ensuring women get regular respite from the challenges of caring for a young baby may be a relatively simple and effective way of promoting maternal mental health in the year after childbirth,” said lead author Dr Hannah Woolhouse.
(Source: Murdoch Children’s Research Institute)