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Postnatal Depression in New Mothers and Its Prevention

Motherhood is a wonderful experience that married women admire. They carry pregnancies and expect to deliver normal and healthy babies. Pregnancies and their aftermaths may have serious impacts on the lives of women and their children. Postnatal depression refers to a mental health problem that occurs in women after giving birth (Cox, Murray, and Chapman, 2012). It is normal to experience depression after undergoing major life transformation. Postnatal depression is an interesting and useful topic because it helps new mothers to understand how to manage this condition through leisure and recreational activities (Caplan, Cogill, and Alexandra, 2008). This essay explains leisure and recreational experiences and the impact they have on lifestyle, including cultural, social, economic, and political and health amongst new mothers who have postnatal depression.

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Leisure activities keep new mothers suffering from postnatal depression busy and enable them to interact with other members of the society. Most leisure activities like sports involve more than one person; therefore, the new mother experiencing postnatal depression will enjoy the company of other people and stop thinking that the society has abandoned her (Cooper and Murray, 2010). The new mother will be interested and change her schedules to accommodate sports and other recreational activities. Most new mothers develop postnatal depression because they spend more time indoors taking care of their children and themselves (Timms, 2014). They do not have time to go out and get the experience of exposure to a new environment. Leisure activities help new mothers fighting postnatal depression to be distracted from the usual routine of feeding, washing and taking care of their babies.

Postnatal depression has serious effects on new mothers who do not regularly exercise (Moncrieff, Churchill, Drummond, and McGuire, 2001). Leisure and recreational activities make people busy because they participate in sports and burn the excess calories accumulated in their bodies. Postnatal depression is severe when the victim has other health complications like diabetes and blood pressure (Beck, 2010). However, these activities ensure the new mother keeps fit by participating in rigorous exercises. Physical activities make people active and enhance blood supply, and other body processes. New mothers suffering from postnatal depression may reduce their stress levels by participating in leisure and recreational activities (Yoshida, Smith, and Kumar, 2009).

Recreational centres offer healthy environments for interactions amongst people. New mothers may meet experienced ones in recreational centres and share their experiences (Holden, Sagovsky, and Cox, 2009). Learning is a continuous process that involves sharing information obtained from various sources. Victims of postnatal depression may learn suitable ways of taking care of their children and themselves without getting bored or exhausted. Experienced mothers offer guidance to new ones and advise them how to take good care of their children despite the challenges they face (Smith and Segal, 2015).

However, some leisure and recreational activities are expensive and most new mothers may not afford them. A new mother has numerous challenges that include difficulties in adjusting to the financial requirements brought by a child (Appleby, Gregoire, Platz, Prince, and Kumar, 2012). Some postnatal depression victims may spend a lot of money on leisure and recreational activities and forget other family needs. Therefore, it is necessary to evaluate their budgets to ensure their leisure activities do not exhaust their savings.

Postnatal depression is a serious problem that affects new mothers. They should participate in leisure activities to change their environment and get into another world where parental responsibilities do not take centre stage. Recreational centres are meeting places for people with different experiences. New mothers suffering from postnatal depression may learn useful ways of taking care of their needs without straining. Leisure activities discourage new mothers from becoming obese or developing lifestyle health complications like obesity, blood pressure, and diabetes.


Appleby, L., Gregoire, A., Platz, C., Prince, M. and Kumar, R. (2012). Screening women for high risk of postnatal depression. Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 38 (6), 53945.

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Beck, C. (2010). The effects of postpartum depression on maternal-infant interaction: A meta-analysis. Nursing Research, 44(5), 298-304.

Caplan, L., Cogill, S. R. and Alexandra, H. (2008). Maternal depression and the emotional development of the child. British Journal of Psychiatry, 154, 818-22.

Cooper, P. and Murray, L. (2010). Course and recurrence of postnatal depression. Evidence for the specificity of the diagnostic concept. British Journal of Psychiatry, 166, 191-5.

Cox, L., Murray, D. and Chapman, G. (2012). A controlled study of the onset, duration and the prevalence of postnatal depression. British Journal of Psychiatry, 163, 27-31.

Holden, J., Sagovsky, R. and Cox, L. (2009). Counselling in a general practice setting: controlled study of health visitors’ intervention in the treatment of postnatal depression. British Journal of Psychiatry, 298(6668), 223-6.

Moncrieff, J., Churchill, R., Drummond, C. and McGuire, H. (2001). Development of a quality assessment instrument for trials of treatments for depression and neurosis. International Journal of Methods in Psychiatric Research, 10, 126-33.

Smith, M. and Segal, J. (2015). Postpartum Depression and the Baby BluesSymptoms, Treatment and Support for New Mothers. Web.

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Timms, P. (2014). Improving the Lives of People with Mental Illness. Postnatal Depression. Web.

Yoshida, K., Smith, B. and Kumar, R. (2009). Psychotropic drugs in mother’s milk: a comprehensive review of assay methods, pharmacokinetics and of safety of breastfeeding. Journal of Psychopharmacology, 13(1), 64-80.

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