The The Lived Experience of Finding Support and Care for Perinatal Mental Health of New Mothers in a Rural Area

By Belinda Butler-OHalloran and Andrew M. Guilfoyle.

Published by The International Journal of Health, Wellness and Society

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published Online: October 5, 2015 $US5.00

This qualitative study explored the lived experience of perinatal mental health for new mothers in a rural area. Interviews with eight women, all with children under three years of age, and a number of health care providers who work on perinatal mental health within the small regional area showed the women were unprepared for the difficulties of new motherhood. In addition, they experienced isolation and lack of support. In particular, the women desired emotional support from their health care providers, however found little support through relationships with general practitioners and midwives. Interestingly, new mothers reported feeling uncertain about how unwell they needed to be before seeking help. Findings suggest new mothers would like more supportive relationships in the Perinatal period and better understanding about the type of care they required in the early stages of motherhood. The implications for governments and how this finding fits with continuity of care and preventative health measures are discussed.

Keywords: Wellness, Community Health, Rural Health

The International Journal of Health, Wellness and Society, Volume 5, Issue 4, December 2015, pp.15-30. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published Online: October 5, 2015 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 536.825KB)).

Belinda Butler-OHalloran

Provisional Psychologist, Psychology and Social Science, MacKillop Catholic College, Busselton, WA, Australia

Dr Andrew M. Guilfoyle

Associate Professor, School of Psychology and Social Science, Edith Cowan University, Perth, WA, Australia