Journal article

Frequency of "Time for Self" Is a Significant Predictor of Postnatal Depressive Symptoms: Results from a Prospective Pregnancy Cohort Study

Hannah Woolhouse, Rhonda Small, Kirsty Miller, Stephanie J Brown



BACKGROUND: We aimed to explore the relationship between frequency of time for self and maternal depressive symptoms at 6 months postpartum. METHODS: A prospective cohort study of 1,507 first-time mothers in Australia, recruited in early pregnancy with follow-up at 6 months postpartum, was conducted. Scores of more than or equal to 13 on the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale were used to identify depressive symptoms. RESULTS: Of 1,507 women recruited to the study, 92.6 percent completed follow-up at 6 months postpartum. Almost half (48.5%) reported having time for themselves when someone else looked after their baby (time for self) once a week or more. Compared with women who reported les..

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University of Melbourne Researchers


Awarded by National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC)

Funding Acknowledgements

We are extremely grateful to all of the women who participated in the Maternal Health Study; to members of the Maternal Health Study Collaborative Group (Christine MacArthur, Kelsey Hegarty, Jane Gunn, Shaun Brennecke, Peter Wein, and Jane Yelland) who contributed to the design of study instruments; to Creina Mitchell who assisted us in the early stage of planning recruitment methods; and to members of the Maternal Health Study research team who have contributed to data collection and coding (Sue Perlen, Ann Krastev, Ellie McDonald, Marion Tait, Liesje Brice, Maggie Flood, Kay Paton, Renee Paxton, and Martine Spaull). We acknowledge the co-authors of Missing Voices, Professor Jill Astbury, and Professor Emeritus Judith Lumley, for their contributions to the work which was the foundation for this paper. The Maternal Health Study was supported by: grants #199222, #433006, and #491205 from The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC); a VicHealth Research Fellowship (SB); an Australian Research Council (ARC) Future Fellowship (SB); an NHMRC Career Development Fellowship (SB); a grant from the Medical Research and Technology in Victoria Fund (ANZ Trustees), and Murdoch Childrens Research Institute research is supported by the Victorian Government's Operational Infrastructure Program. The funding organizations had no involvement in the conduct of the study, and the authors are independent of the funding sources. The study sponsor had no role in the study design; collection, analysis and interpretation of data; writing the report; and the decision to submit the report for publication. The authors have no financial affiliations to declare. The authors declare they have no conflict of interests.